About Sue McGovern, Shaw Method teacher and massage therapist


“Since finding the Shaw Method my experience of swimming has changed from cold, wet, boring to pure, fluid, joy!”

My background


While working with creative therapies in a huge psychiatric hospital, I recognised in my patients, a desperate lack of  nurturing physical contact. This led me to start offering massage and was the start of my lifelong exploration of the benefits of bodywork.



Remedial massage


I have given thousands of massages over the years, mostly in my own treatment room, but also on oil rigs, in offices, on sports fields, and in shopping centres! And, 30 years on, I still enjoy every one I give and delight in the varied and individual benefits each person experiences.



Shaw Method swimming


The Shaw Method of swimming fits well with my massage work, as it offers a different way for people to learn about their bodies and how to treat them well. The water gives clear feedback about body positioning, tension, and coordination … and you get to indulge in the rhythmic joy of mindful swimming as well! I feel very lucky to be able to share my enthusiasm for the Shaw Method and to witness the awakenings it brings to those who practise it.



My qualifications


  • Shaw Method Teacher Training (2013)
  • SASA Level 1 Teaching Aquatics (2003)
  • Diploma in Remedial and Sports Massage (1990)
  • Diploma in Occupational Therapy (1982)



“A total revelation! I’d never thought about my relationship with the water, or how it works. I’ve learnt to “ride the wave” and “find the glide.” I’ve swum for decades, but this has given me a whole new focus – fabulous!”


– Karen Matthews

“I was so afraid of the water. I imagined being pulled under and never coming up. Sue patiently showed me how the water works and taught me how to work WITH it, instead of fighting it. I learnt to float and submerge my face, and then to really swim! I now love being in the water with my grandchildren and can, also, join in the fun on holidays.”


– Emily Grayson

“I thought I swam quite well and was just struggling to breathe in the Crawl, but how wrong I was! My strokes, and my enjoyment of the water, are transformed by lessons with Sue. I feel I’m gliding gently along, but I actually move faster than before. And I can keep going for as long as I want. Great!”


–  Jim McAlvin

“Shaw Method swimming lessons with Sue are the best thing I’ve ever done! No more neck and shoulder pain at work. And I just can’t wait to get to the pool each day.”


–  Greg Walters

“I learned I can slow down in the water…but still actually move faster! And that swimming doesn’t need to be boring if you have a lot to concentrate on!”


– Jen Brewitt