About Us – About Oasis Healing Asia


In the late 1800s and first decade of the 1900s, traditional healing disciplines from numerous countries including China, Thailand, and India as well as Malaysia, Indonesia, Australia, and New Zealand, extending to South America, Africa, Europe, and the United States, were considered the norm and the standard for medical care. Additionally, practices such as naturopathy, homeopathy, chiropractic, and osteopathic medicine gained prominence.

However, in 1910, the infamous Flexner Report was published, which forever changed medical education in the United States, and, subsequently, the whole world. Consequently, allopathic medicine (MD = medical doctor), which was the least popular and least utilized by the public, became the standard.

By the 1940s, all of the traditional healing disciplines, which had withstood the test of time for over 5000 years were now considered “substandard” or “alternative”.  Allopathic (conventional) medicine, which is ‘science-based’ , had become the only medical discipline that was being taught in all of the universities around the world. However, despite its widespread use, it soon became clear that conventional medicine, with all of the great advances in surgery, diagnostic equipment, critical care, and emergency care, had no benefit for those with chronic, degenerative conditions. In fact, pharmaceutical agents (drugs) not only failed to eliminate chronic conditions but also produced “side effects”, which only compounded the problems. The public, consequently returned to seeking help and relief from practitioners trained in the traditional healing disciplines, which have provided relief and resolution for chronic ailments for thousands of years.

Between the 1960s to the 1990s, “alternative medicine” grew in popularity and began conducting and publishing scientific research to provide acceptable evidence to explain how these millennial old therapies worked and why they had been used for many thousands of years.

In June of 1993, the NIH Revitalization Act of 1993 (P.L. 103-43) formally established the Office of Alternative Medicine (OAM)1 within the Office of the Director, of the National Institute of Health (NIH), to study and evaluate complementary and alternative medical practices and to disseminate their findings to the public. Now that these therapies had scientific validation according to conventional standards, by the early 2000s, universities and major hospitals were forced to recognize their value. Furthermore, it was noted that people were willing to spend their own money out-of-pocket for ‘alternative’ treatments rather than opting for free conventional medical treatment funded by insurance. It was during these years that many universities and well-known hospitals began adding ‘alternative’ medical departments and treatments to their standard medical specialties.

However, the hospitals and universities did not fully understand these therapies so the two fields have continued to remain separated as ‘conventional’ and ‘alternative’.  What is commonly termed ‘alternative medicine’ today is, in reality, the modern version of the time-tested and time-honored ‘traditional healing’ disciplines that have existed for many thousands of years.

In the late 1990s and early 2000s, Thomas Lodi, MD who was trained conventionally in internal medicine and had practiced conventional medicine for a decade, spent an additional two years training in several countries, including Japan, Mexico, Europe, and the US to learn traditional medical therapies. He then opened a healing center in New York.

It had become clear that no single discipline had all the answers for people’s ailments. Hence, the most logical approach was to utilize the best therapies from each of the several disciplines depending on the condition of the patient. This is called “integrative medicine”.

In 2004, he founded An Oasis of Healing in Arizona and became one of the pioneers in what is now known as Integrative Oncology. An Oasis of Healing, one of the world’s first integrative oncology centers, is still open and continues to serve, support, and help patients with cancer after almost 20 years.

In 2012, Dr Lodi came to Thailand, where he introduced integrative oncology and co-founded several centers in Chiang Mai, Bangkok, and Phuket. Now, he has co-founded Oasis Healing Asia in Bangkok and will bring his 35+ years of experience and expertise to care for Thai people, expatriates from other countries as well as people living in other countries across Southeast East Asia, Asia, Africa, Australia, New Zealand, and Europe.

1. The National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH) is a United States government agency that explores complementary and alternative medicine (CAM). It was initially created in 1991 as the Office of Alternative Medicine (OAM) and renamed the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) before receiving its current name in 2014.

  • October 1991 — The U.S. Congress passes legislation (Public Law 102-170) that provides $2 million in funding for FY 1992 to establish an office within NIH to investigate and evaluate promising unconventional medical practices.
  • October 1992 — Dr. Joseph J. Jacobs is appointed the first director of the Office of Alternative Medicine (OAM).
  • June 1993 — The NIH Revitalization Act of 1993 (P.L.103-43) formally establishes OAM within the Office of the Director, NIH, to facilitate the study and evaluation of complementary and alternative medical practices and to disseminate the resulting information to the public.
  • September 1994 — Dr. Alan I. Trachtenberg becomes the acting director of OAM.
  • January 1995 — Dr. Wayne B. Jonas is named the second director of OAM.
  • October 1998 — The National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) was established by Congress under Title VI, Section 601 of the Omnibus Appropriations Act of 1999 (P.L. 105-277). This bill amends Title IV of the Public Health Service Act and elevates the status of OAM to an NIH Center.
  • January 1999 — Dr. William R. Harlan is named the acting director of NCCAM.
  • February 1999 — The U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) signs the organizational change memorandum creating NCCAM and making it the 25th independent component of NIH.
  • May 1999 — NCCAM awards its first research project grant.
  • May 1999 — The NCCAM Trans-Agency Complementary and Alternative Medicine Coordinating Committee is established.
  • August 1999 — The National Advisory Council on Complementary and Alternative Medicine is chartered.
  • October 1999 — Dr. Stephen E. Straus becomes the first director of NCCAM.
  • September 2000 — NCCAM publishes its first 5-year strategic plan.
  • February 2001 — NCCAM and the National Library of Medicine launch CAM on PubMed, a tool for searching the scientific literature for information on complementary health approaches.
  • March 2002​ — NCCAM inaugurated a new lecture series on the NIH campus and videocast, “Distinguished Lectures in the Science of Complementary and Alternative Medicine.”
  • May 2004 — NCCAM and the National Center for Health Statistics announce findings from the largest, most comprehensive survey to date on American adults’ use of complementary health approaches.
  • January 2005 — The report Complementary and Alternative Medicine in the United States is published by the Institute of Medicine, National Academies, reporting on findings from a study committee convened at the request of NCCAM, 15 other NIH partners, and the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.
  • February 2005 — NCCAM publishes its second 5-year strategic plan.
  • November 2006 — Founding Director Dr. Stephen E. Straus steps down, and Dr. Ruth L. Kirschstein is named acting director.
  • January 2008 — Dr. Josephine P. Briggs becomes the second director of NCCAM.
  • December 2008 — The 2007 National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) yields the first nationally representative data on children’s use of complementary health approaches and on trends in adults’ use of those approaches.
  • February 2009 — NCCAM marks its 10th anniversary with a year of special events, including the 10th Anniversary Research Symposium.
  • May 2009 — The series “Distinguished Lectures in the Science of Complementary and Alternative Medicine” is renamed in honor of the late founding director of NCCIH, Dr. Stephen Straus. The annual  “Stephen E. Straus Distinguished Lecture in the Science of Complementary Therapies” will be supported by the Foundation for the National Institutes of Health with a generous gift from Bernard and Barbro Osher.
  • July 2009 — The 2007 NHIS yields the first nationally representative data on Americans’ spending on complementary health approaches.
  • September 2009 — The inaugural lecture in the Center’s Integrative Medicine Research Lecture Series takes place.
  • February 2011 — NCCAM releases its third 5-year strategic plan.
  • May 2012 — The new NCCAM Research Blog offers news and dialogue to the research community about the Center’s projects and initiatives.
  • July 2012 — Dr. Catherine Bushnell is appointed scientific director of a new, state-of-the-art NIH pain research program headquartered in NCCAM’s intramural division.
  • September 2012 — Funding is announced for the first year of the NIH Health Care Systems Research Collaboratory, with Dr. Briggs as co-leader and NCCAM as the project’s administrative lead agency as well as a major scientific contributor.
  • April 2014 — The NIH Task Force on Research Standards for Chronic Low-Back Pain releases its recommended standards for clinical low-back pain research, published in several leading pain journals. Dr. Partap Khalsa, NCCAM, co-chaired this task force.
  • September 2014 — Partnering with the National Institute on Drug Abuse and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, NCCAM awards 13 research projects on nondrug approaches to manage pain and related conditions in military personnel and veterans.
  • December 2014 — Congress renames NCCAM the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH).
  • June 2016 — NCCIH publishes its fourth 5-year strategic plan.
  • September 2017 — The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD), and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) announce the NIH-DOD-VA Pain Management Collaboratory. NCCIH serves as the lead agency and contributes over half the funding.
  • October 2017 — NCCIH Director Dr. Josephine P. Briggs steps down and becomes editor-in-chief of the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology (JASN). Dr. David Shurtleff is named acting director.
  • October 2017 — Know the Science, an NCCIH initiative to clarify and explain to consumers scientific topics related to health research, is launched.
  • June 2018 — NCCIH releases its first mobile app, HerbList™, which provides science-based information on herbs and herbal products.
  • September 2018 — NCCIH announces six research awards, co-funded by the NIH’s Helping to End Addiction Long-term® Initiative, or NIH HEAL Initiative®, on behavioral interventions for primary or secondary prevention of opioid use disorder, or as complements to medication-assisted treatment.
  • November 2018 — Dr. Helene M. Langevin is sworn in as the third NCCIH director.
  • September 2019 — The Center celebrates its 20th anniversary with a full-day symposium focusing on NCCIH milestones in research, as well as promising areas for discovery.
  • September 2019 — NIH awards $20 million over 5 years for the first projects of the Sound Health Initiative, to research the potential of music for treating various conditions resulting from neurological and other disorders. Sound Health is a partnership between NIH and the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, in association with the National Endowment for the Arts, and NCCIH has had a leadership role in Sound Health since co-chairing its initial workshop in 2017.
  • March 2020 — Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, NCCIH moves to all-virtual events and other safety measures. Staff working remotely can continue, e.g., processing grant applications, providing funding opportunities, supporting the grantee and staff communities, and presenting virtual events.
  • July 2020 — The NIH Intramural Research Program Pain Research Center is a new, multidisciplinary, NIH-wide initiative with a mission to create a pain phenotyping platform within the NIH Clinical Center, especially in the context of understanding and treating chronic pain and opioid abuse. NCCIH Deputy Director Dr. David Shurtleff is acting director of the Pain Research Center.
  • January 2021 — The first of three virtual workshops in 2021 is held to gather input for the development of evidence-based music interventions for brain disorders of aging. Drs. Emmeline Edwards and Wen Chen of NCCIH serve on the planning committee.
  • February 2021 — NCCIH co-funds a group of new research networks for investigators to refine and test key concepts anticipated to advance the study of emotional well-being.
  • April 2021 — As a part of broader NIH efforts, NCCIH increases its efforts to advance the science of minority health and health disparities, and promote health equity—through, e.g., its funding opportunities, webinars, Health Disparities Working Group, Statement on Biomedical Workforce Diversity and Health Disparities Research, and a dedicated website.
  • May 2021 — NCCIH’s fifth strategic plan is published, for FYs 2021 to 2025. It focuses on advancing research on whole-person health to better understand how multiple physiological systems interconnect and interact.
  • July 2021 — The NCCIH Clinical Research in Complementary and Integrative Health Branch announces the upcoming release of updated funding opportunities to support the development and testing of mind and body interventions relevant to NCCIH’s new strategic plan.
  • September 2021 — NCCIH hosts a “Methodological Approaches for Whole Person Research Workshop,” in collaboration with nine other NIH components, to explore methodologies potentially appropriate for whole-person research and to discuss study examples.
  • September 2021 — NIH’s Blueprint for Neuroscience Research, in which NCCIH is a collaborator, announces seven research grants on interoception, a new research area for NIH.
  • June 2022 — NCCIH co-organizes the 2022 NIH Pain Consortium Annual Symposium on Advances in Pain Research on “Pain Management Through the Lens of Whole Person Health.”
  • September 2022 — The NIH Common Fund’s Bridge to Artificial Intelligence program (Bridge2AI) is launched. It is managed collaboratively by NCCIH, four other ICs, and the Common Fund.
  • September 2022 — The NIH HEAL Initiative® releases funding opportunities for large-scale clinical trials on sickle cell disease pain management, an initiative NCCIH leads in partnership with nine other NIH components.
  • October 2022 — The Restoring Joint Health and Function to Reduce Pain (RE-JOIN) Consortium, in which NCCIH is a collaborator, is launched as part of the NIH HEAL Initiative®.
  • October 2022 — NCCIH announces seven new grants over 3 years that focus on myofascial tissues, an understudied area in musculoskeletal pain.
  • December 2022 — NCCIH marks significant progress in 2022 on developing a framework for research on Whole Person Health and a test set of common data elements to build scientific rigor in the field. Examples of achievements include an NIH request for information (RFI), titled “Identification of a Set of Determinants for Whole Person Health,” and a Stakeholder Meeting for Research on Whole Person Health.

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