FIGHT! Doctor: Lucia Rijker

(Props to Persmuseum.)

A fighter’s body is a machine geared for top performance and every machine needs regular tune-ups. Peter Goldman, DC, is one of combat sports’ best mechanics. Dr. Goldman practices a rare branch of chiropractic developed approximately 80 years ago by Dr. Thurman Fleet called Zone Healing, the goal of which is to balance the six interconnected systems of the body: circulatory, eliminative, digestive, glandular, nerve, and muscular with an emphasis on mental strength.

A black belt in Oyama full contact karate and a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu brown belt under John Machado, roughly 40% of Dr. Goldman’s practice are martial artists. Each week will check in with the man BJ Penn credits with fixing his neck and Bas Rutten believes put an end to his asthma.

“I did my first jiu-jitsu class today in, like, 15 years. It was so good,” said Lucia Rijker. “I can’t tell you how good it felt.”

Rijker, 42, made history on Oct. 24 of this year when she became the first female inducted into the Boxing Hall of Fame. Fellow striking legend Rob Kaman referred “The World’s Most Dangerous Woman” to Dr. Goldman post-fight career. After a five-minute talk, he adjusted her and “Lady Ali” immediately felt changed.

“The mind-body work that he does—and I send people to him–its very powerful work. Like I said, I’ve had adjustments all over the world, and they’re all good, but Pete’s different.”

She insists its something one must experience to understand; however, she relays the benefits in her own treatments. Sensation quickly returned to her battle worn legs.

“I had an MCL that was slightly challenged and the fact that I did a lot of treatments at the time, I had laser, you name it—but I felt that when he did the adjustment, I felt different in my legs which is necessary for [my] healing.”

Rijker, who portrayed the villain in Million Dollar Baby, now works as a motivational speaker on the subjects of spirituality and the power of positive thinking, and she firmly believes in Dr. Goldman’s concepts that negative emotions can create injuries and illness in the body.

“He’s a good man to have in your corner. He’s very solid. He’s a healer. Most people, when they do their job, they have different agendas. Pete is here to make you the best you can be,” said Rijker. “That’s his goal, that’s his passion, that’s his gift. And not just to make you better as an athlete, but as a person.”

Rijker said that when she first visited the Boxing Hall of Fame for the first time over a decade ago, she wept feverishly. She saw amazing athletes—the best boxers in the world—reduced to physical and neurological piles of rubble years before nature was supposed to claim them. Having her health in retirement, thanks in part to Dr. Goldman, makes her place in the sport all the more special.

“I dressed up like [it was the Oscars] because for me, that’s what it was,” said Rijker of her induction. “I was not picked among other women, I was picked among other fighters, so that made me feel even really honored. I was chosen because of my athletic abilities and hard work as a fighter not as a woman and that made it even more important to me.”

Oh, and that jiu-jitsu lesson? Rijker rolled on the mats at Shawn Williams’ Hollywood Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu in anticipation of working with Showtime’s mixed martial arts ventures. Noting Strikeforce has a women’s division, Rijker, who began her combat sports interest with judo at age six, said, “I don’t want to get ahead of myself but I loved, loved, loved it.”

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