Physical Therapy Scholarship Contest Example Essay
In 2001 a friend of mine introduced me to the martial art, Ba Gua Zhang. I had always been interested in martial arts and so I began studying Gao style Ba Gua with Jeff Jones here in Atlanta. I’m not exactly sure what my
initial motivation for starting Ba Gua had been; I believe it was a combination of intrigue with the arts and a desire to reduce stress, but by studying with Jeff I got a lot more than I had bargained for. It is in studying with Mr. Jones that I ultimately came to be interested in Oriental Medicine. Mr. Jones takes a holistic approach to teaching Ba Gua. He teaches not only the fighting form and application of the art, but also explains the health benefits of the forms, massage techniques, and Qi Gong exercises.
His teaching has led me to acquire a valuable understanding of myself, and in engaging in Ba Gua I have developed an important awareness of my body. By this I mean that I have made a shift from feeling like a mind that walks around in a shell of a body, to a mindful being that is intimately connected to her physical body. As in Yoga, where one’s attention is intently focused on feeling, experiencing, and personally understanding what is happening when positioned in a specific asana, Jeff urges his students to be as attentive and “in one’s body” when practicing Ba Gua. I am beginning to understand my own body on a deeper level, and not necessarily by what I am being told, but by what I am discovering for myself. I attempt to understand what goes on within me as I move through the forms, use breathing techniques, and meditate.
This new found interest in the dynamic relationship of my mind, body, and soul has led me to further investigation. Since I began studying Ba Gua I have read many books on martial arts, in particular the internal styles, many of which comment on aspects of Oriental Medicine. I have also read books on Taoism and holistic health. I began attending a Qi Gong class (Da Dao Chan) offered in the area, run biweekly, and do some yoga and weight training. All of this practice and investigation for personal purposes evolved into an interest in the possibility of pursuing a career that is in some way related to these interests.
During my attendance at Georgia State University I took advantage of the free career counseling made available by the school. I spent the summer of 2003 taking personality and interest tests, and meeting with a career counselor on a weekly basis. With the help of the test results and the counseling sessions, I narrowed my career search to psychology and physical therapy. However, I was still not quite happy with the idea of being a psychologist or physical therapist. It wasn’t until September of 2003, when I went to visit an Oriental Doctor, that I considered the field of Oriental Medicine as an option. I was impressed by his keen perception as well as the effectiveness of the treatment.
It seems that Oriental Medicine would be a perfect match for me in that it is a culmination of all my interests. My interest in the physical therapy of the body would be met in the nature of Tui na. I also expect that my interest in Psychology would be met because of the field’s intimate consideration of the human emotions and psyche in diagnosing and treating illness. Furthermore, Edgewood would provide a great environment to further investigate and understand Taoist thought and the dynamic nature of Qi.