You won’t find testimonials on our website or social medial. 

Despite receiving many positive treatment endorsements, social media testimonials and Patient’s success stories, we are not allowed to publish them and actually have to either take them down from our social media ourselves or ask the patient to delete/remove /ammend them.


They are not allowed by the regulatory body for all health professionals in Australia, AHPRA.

Does this mean there are no success stories? 

Absolutely not, we are just not allowed to publish them.

Why does AHPRA not allow testimonials? 

Great question, one reason considers that one individual’s story is not representational of the whole. We don’t know how similar this one person’s story will be to outcome of everyone who has that same problem and same treatment.

For instance, Just because one person achieved successful resolution of their health problem like back pain, for instance, in 2 or 3 treatments does not mean that others will have the same result.

Testimonials, or patient stories, can be misleading, and take advantage of people who take things at face value, or don’t see that there could be differing factors in the “success story” and their own situation.

Just because one “success story” is published, we don’t know how many other cases were treated that were unsuccessful or had even a negative result.

All health practitioners who are registered in Australia should adhere to the guidelines and not use testimonial advertising. The guidelines also state that practitioners have to make every reasonable effort to remove known testimonial endorsements their patients put up on social media. If you do think a practitioner is breaching the guidelines you can can find out more and report them, here’s the link to AHPRA’s advertising guidelines website.

The down side is, in our culture we connect more with a story than facts and figures, so people who are wired this way possibly are less drawn to the potential benefits of therapists like acupuncture and Chinese medicine because there are not “success stories” to follow.


So whats the difference between a review and a testimonial?

If you would like to leave a review for your experience with Marie Hopkinson you can do so by mentioning pretty much anything EXCEPT the treatment itself. The video by Marie Hopkinson explains this in greater detail

So, if practices are not able to spread success stories of their patients, how do we know acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine have any benefit? 

The other day I was in an Uber, talking to the driver about Chinese medicine, he asked a question that I get a lot from new people I meet. He asked “does it work?”

Here’s what Marie Hopkinson, principal practitioner and owner of Bespoke medicine has to say:

My first response was “Well my entire business is private practice…I wouldn’t still be running a business after 15 years if it didn’t work.  I wouldn’t be investing all my time and energy for the past 15 years into something that didn’t work”

There are two major things that speak to the effectiveness medicine in the absence of “success stories”:

  1. Longevity of it’s practice
  2. Research
  1. Longevity of practice

How long has that practice been around for? Has it stood the test of time?

Did you know Chinese medicine is the oldest system of medicine? And it’s the second most practiced system (western or biomedicine being the first most widely used). This means it’s been time-tested. Why would people continue to use something, study something, invest time and money into a medical system that dosen’t work? This in itself is evidence that there is something to it.

2. Research 

In biomedicine, research results – statistics and probability of outcome are used from properly constructed trials  to replace the old “success story” that was once used by medical salespeople.

Unfortunately research trials will actually never represent the clinical conditions for Chinese medicine like they do in Western medicine (biomedicine). This is why in so many research trials, the conclusion is that it “isn’t effective”.

Here’s why:

A research trial is designed to observe the outcome of an intervention (a treatment – like a drug or an exercise that patients do) against a variable (the health condition or symptom)

For instance – does DRUG A effect BLOOD PRESSURE? – (does it lower, raise or exert no change on blood pressure)

Another example:

Does  “DAILY EXERCISE REIGIME” effect SHOULDER RANGE OF MOTION AFTER SURGERY? (does the same group of exercises, time of doing them and same repetitions done by a group of people in a study influence a shoulder’s repair…does it help the shoulder recover quicker, get worse or do the people doing the exercises after surgery get no change?)

Both of these examples could be done in a “double blind placebo controlled trial” if the measured variable’s effects were measured against other groups who had:

  1. no treatment – or the standard treatment
  2. placebo – had a fake treatment.

This is all great for western or biomedicine – this model works really well, because it replicates exactly how western medicine is administered in clinical practice anyway. One symptom  = one treatment. You get another symptom or health problem, you get another treatment (another drug, another surgical intervention or exercise program) and so on.

This isn’t how Chinese medicine works at all! 

We don’t give one herb or one formula or one acupuncture point for one symptom. If a patient comes in with a back pain, for instance there could be many herbal formulas – easily around 10 different herbal formulas that could be used to treat their sciatica and low back pain. How do we tell which herbal formula we will use? That would come back to so many variables that the practitioner works out in the consult.

Chinese medicine embraces the variables that biomedicine tries to weed out, like:

  • past illnesses – did you recover from them? what toll has this placed on your body now – this will show up in things like your pulse diagnosis, patients might report difference in energy levels etc.
  • your constitution. Some people are just more robust than others. This might show up in your digestion – do you have food intolerances or can you eat just about anything?
  • Basics of health – How are your bowel movements? Your urination, sleep and appetite? These can all tell us about how your body is functioning in general – is it in a state of surplus or state of dipping into the savings account?

Even things like weather can make a difference in diagnosis and treatment.

One of the main ways a practitioner of Chinese medicine works out the diagnosis with all these things considered is through the pulse diagnosis.