Tai chi & menopause

Morning Rachel,

Recently, I've been reading about the impact of Tai Chi on the effects of the menopause. Many of the women I know (my age or older) regularly talk about the symptoms that came on during menopause (with many continuing post-menopause) such as lack of sleep (very common), concentration, lack of strength, hot flushes, new joint aches, tiredness etc...

Many older women I encounter go to a physio or other medical practitioner to 'sort them out' and took various medications during the height of menopause to help with the symptoms. It is quite noticeable the difference in how I am.

When I was working, I was starting to really struggle to remember things and I was getting to the point where I felt I couldn't do my job properly, which improved enormously when I started attending class, even with training initially only once a week. Sleeping and hot flushes were an issue, but that noticeably improved too.  I'd thought I was simply through the other side (getting older!), but given the recent conversations with other women, they are all still experiencing issues, particularly sleep, which I don't have at all. It's not the most scientific assessment granted, but was the prompt for me to look into it a little more.

Even a cursory search shows numbers articles highlighting the benefits of Tai Chi on menopause symptoms, but I like the following article (more evidence based), and indicates improvements in a group of post menopausal women in terms of sleep, quality of life and physical performance after an 8 week Tai Chi programme, 3 times per week.

Some of the references also highlight studies showing benefits on gait, spine bone density, kidney function (to name just a few).

Another quote:

"In fact, tai-chi seems to have no end of benefits – studies have indicated that tai-chi improves both bone density and neurological function, helping to cut through brain fog and target joint aches, can shore up immune systems in menopausal women, and lower the risk of cardiovascular disease." (

I shouldn't be surprised of course....

See you later.


 From my experience the school provides the best opportunities to learn tai chi whether the reason one has to learn is for health and fitness purposes or as a martial art for self defence.

 The instructors (Rachel and Sifu) are very experienced and one can tell that they know what they are talking about. The students are taught practically and in a way that helps the students understand how the skills and movements that are taught are incredibly useful to them in everyday life.

 Every exercise that is taught is based on the extensive experience and in contrast with other tai chi schools there is no talk of chi or other esoteric concepts, instead the instructors discuss biomechanics and mention what muscle groups work in different exercises.

 The quality and the effect of the exercises is incredibly beneficial to both the mental and the physical health of the students. In contrast to some other tai chi schools the joints of the students do not experience strain or discomfort as the experience of the instructors and their understanding of biomechanics makes sure that exercises taught do not have downsides for long term health and longevity but instead promote the healthy use of the body.



  I have just completed my first year at Newcastle Tai Chi. I joined after having a hip replacement, as I wanted to improve my agility and balance. I have gained so much more.

Classes are warm and friendly, but it is the quality of teaching which makes the school outstanding.

Sifu Waller has an encyclopaedic knowledge of Taijiquan, Baguazhang and many other martial arts, which means that his teaching is authentic and inspirational.

I would highly recommend the school to those who want to improve general health and mobility, I have certainly benefitted hugely.

To those wishing to take the study of these sophisticated martial arts further, I would say that Sifu Waller is one of the few people who can provide detailed and authentic teaching (John Phillipson)


  In today’s very fast paced world, sometimes you need to find a way to switch off and focus on training your mind and your body focusing on long term benefits rather than just here and now. Newcastle Tai Chi has enabled me to do just that!

I stumbled across this school after reading the reviews and I was blown away by the induction classes that I just had to continue on. It’s a very friendly school built on years and years of experience gained by Rachel and Sifu that can be easily seen in both health and martial syllabus the school teaches.

If you are looking to improve your overall health and wellbeing or study a form of martial arts, look no further than Newcastle Tai Chi. I would highly recommend it. 

(Avinash Premraj)


 After lockdown, wanted to get back into martial arts for health, fitness, and a new challenge. Looking over this club's website immediately ticked many boxes - authenticity, good teaching structure, excellent background info.

After spending some time training here also found teaching is very responsive to students needs/questions, and you get to improve in areas you didn't know could be trained! Hips, back, chest and everything else have much better flexibility, co-ordination and balance.

Many practical applications of bio-mechanics, full body strength, strategy & tactics. Great depth of training material, many opportunities to challenge yourself. Always a practical, no-nonsense, learn by doing approach.

(Dan Jenkins) 


  I have done martial arts most of my life and have loved every aspect of it since I can remember. I had always practiced the hard style arts: Tae Kwon Do, Freestyle Karate, Muay Thai. However, as I got older and after a break from the arts, I found myself wanting to get back into it and having a real interest in finding a style and school which taught more traditional arts and more internal based rather than the normal sport style arts which are ten a penny now.

I came across Newcastle Tai Chi a few years ago and read the website back to front and it seemed to be exactly what I was looking for but for whatever reason I put off that first step until just over a year ago…. What a mistake that was and I still kick myself for not doing anything about it sooner.

The school is very welcoming and friendly, I enjoyed it from the first moment I walked through the doors. The way of learning and the style of art is so very very different to anything I’ve done before… I love it. Relaxed, friendly, fun.

Rachel is very knowledgeable and takes the beginners and health students though the basics and considerately explains what and why you are practicing the various moves.

Sifu Waller’s expansive knowledge of the art and biomechanics (amongst many other things) is quite simply mind blowing! I don’t think I’ve come away from a single class without my mind been blown. If you can open your mind and try and absorb as much as possible that Sifu teaches you, you will not regret it. There is always something new to learn, micro adjustments that Sifu can see that you cannot and the massive difference it makes is incredible.

(Gary Clewes)


 Having previously taken Tai Chi classes, attending my first induction session with Rachel at Newcastle Tai Chi, it was clear from the start this was going to be a very different experience. Newcastle Tai Chi provides a calm, quiet, measured and most importantly authentic approach to teaching Tai Chi and Martial Arts

Classes are interesting and varied and may include group work, individual practise, partner work, exercises, self massage, guided body scan meditations and more.

Both teachers, Rachel and Sifu, as well as fellow students are friendly, approachable and respectful.

Newcastle Tai Chi provides a welcome haven in a too busy world to slow down and if you're thinking of attending I would quote what Rachel frequently says to me "Stop thinking and just do it!"

(Neelam Sharma)