Women are being encouraged to seek help and share their experience of menopause through a new venture being launched in Carlisle.

Tish Fisher is drawing on her own experience, and subsequent training in holistic health care, specific to peri to post menopause, to guide women through the menopause and to work out solutions to help them deal with its effects.

Tish, now 55, began to notice the symptoms when she was 52. “I was blissfully gliding through life believing I was way too young, after all, 50 is the new 40 and it just wasn’t on my, nor my friends’, radar,” she says.

“I’m not an emotional person as such, but it was when I was driving to work in floods of tears that I knew something wasn’t right. It hit me like a steam train. Not a lot gets on top of me or puts me down so it hit me really hard.

“Looking back, I had lots of symptoms but the hot flushes and night sweats were the worst, not getting any sleep then having to be up at 6am to go to work. I knew about menopause of course but I’d never looked into it and I just thought I must be in a bad place or there’s something really wrong with me.”

After sharing her experience with her close friends she began researching.

“I’m a self fixer by nature and will do whatever it takes to solve things. I’m disciplined and determined but I know a lot of other people aren’t like that so I set off on a mission to find out as much as I could. I felt a need to start helping other women.”

Tish, who runs Currock Community Centre, adds: “I’m passionate about helping women live well through the menopause and beyond. There are so many still suffering and who think they’re going mad – I was one – and I believe a lack of, or contradictory, information just makes it all such a minefield.”

She went on to become a certified holistic specialist in peri to post menopause wellbeing having undergone training created by a leading women’s health educator and women’s health physiotherapist.

Now Tish has started a business, Menopause: Body & Mind, to help guide women through the menopause holistically and to offer them support through this stage of their lives.

“I want to make the menopause simple to understand, easy to put into practice and more importantly, to keep it all positive,” she says.

Covering everything from hormones to mindset, nutrition to exercise, as well as bone, heart, breast, brain and pelvic health, she has developed a range of packages to suit different women’s needs.

She has started a Facebook page – MenopauseBodyAndMind – and last month hosted an event at Currock Community Centre.

Tish adds: “I’d like to create a group where women come together to share their experiences and stories on the menopause. Drawing on my skills, this group can then develop its own programme of support as it evolves, which can include sessions on specific menopausal symptoms and ways to control and reduce them (hot flushes, night sweats, sleep disruption, weight gain), how to help women live well or how to change entire lifestyles and mindsets. I want to hear from them as to what they think will help them.”