The Continuing Legacy of Dick Versendaal
By Paul A. Jaskoviak, DC, DACAN
Note: Dr. Paul Jaskoviak plans to publish a series of articles to educate the reader to the fabulous career of Dr. Dick A. Versendaal, to the tremendous results achieved by those that use CRA, and to the value of Vitalism Products. By looking at the efforts of Dr. Versendaal over the years, others can see that they, too, can get the same type of results in their practice. This is the first in that serious of paying tribute to Dr. Dick A. Versendaal.
Dick A. Versendaal – His Life and History
The invitation came by mail; simple, yet direct: “I’d like you to attend my course, Contact Reflex Analysis, CRA, in Los Angeles. Afterward, I’d like you to tell me what you think and whether or not Parker College would consider sponsoring my future classes.” It was signed, Sincerely, Dr. Dick Versendaal. As Postgraduate Dean at Parker College of Chiropractic, I had the responsibility of evaluating continuing education programs. This was part and parcel of my portfolio of responsibilities. I would evaluate the speaker’s ability, research behind the presentation, course content, and most significantly, and the course’s applicability to the daily practice of chiropractic.
I hadn’t heard much about this CRA stuff so I asked the other administrators at the College; most were neutral in their opinions. Some told me it was all bogus. After a few preliminary phone calls and inquiries to doctors around the country and with much skepticism, I reluctantly decided to attend. I thought I was giving up an otherwise perfectly good weekend for a long distance venture in futility.
The first hour of the class did not go well. In fact, my initial impression was utter disbelief. Dr. Versendaal gave a background of CRA and of its successes over the years. My four years of premedical education at National College had left me most skeptical of unresearched claims and all lectures that did not conform to a rigid scientific protocol. Yet I sat among some 150 attendees with an open mind. At the breaks I spoke with numerous attendees, a medical physician from Europe, chiropractors from around the country, and a score of other health care practitioners of many disciplines, all using CRA. They claimed to be able to duplicate the results that were being espoused on the stage by Dr. Versendaal. Doctor after doctor cited anecdotal reports of patients they had helped. Patients with chronic complaints that allopathic medicine had given up on were experiencing health for the first time in years. Patients with neurological disorders were cured. Dr. Versendaal called them miracles. My skepticism continued.
I began to realize that reflex points, the systematic testing protocol, the chiropractic adjustments, and the nutritional recommendations were significant in bringing patients from dis-ease to health.
As the day went on, something kept interrupting my trains of thought as I attempted to pay close attention. My skeptical mind was attempting to correlate CRA to what I knew to be sound health physiological principles. Certainly, I thought, there are reams of indexed, refereed, scientific studies that cite the validity of evaluating and treating reflex points on the body. CRA is based up on evaluating reflex points. Evaluating and treating specific sites (e.g., acupuncture points, Nimmo points, trigger points) was part and parcel of the chiropractic curriculum of many chiropractic colleges. Using a muscle to test reflex points was de riguer in many postgraduate programs. There was no question in my mind that nutritional deficiencies change the body at a cellular level predisposing the body to gamut of dis-eases. A significant number of studies to validate the clinical effectiveness of nutrition in bringing the body to homeostasis have been published. Contact Reflex Analysis is predicated on recommendations of very strong powerful natural nutritionals.
Versendaal’s basic analytical triad consisted of the mental component, the structural component, and the nutritional component. This is what I already was teaching in my acupuncture courses. Patients were brought on stage and I personally watched them experiencing instantaneous results. ‘Faith-healers’ came to mind (today I might think, Benny Hinn); only in these cases there was no question this was not ‘faith healing.’ As the day continued, I began to realize the reflex points, the systematic testing protocol, the chiropractic adjustments, and the nutritional recommendations were significant in bringing patients from dis-ease to health. In fact, by the time the Los Angeles class ended I was able to fly back to Dallas with a realization that I needed to open my mind to a new paradigm for health and for correcting dis-eases. I went back more than prepared to present CRA to curriculum committee and the administration of Parker College in the hope that I could convince them that CRA was a program that Parker College should sponsor. Several months later, Parker College’s Postgraduate Division was sponsoring its first CRA class.
The Continuing Legacy
For the first time in more than 20 years of heading postgraduate programs, I was now taking calls from doctors with stories of almost miraculous successes they’d personally achieved with their patients using CRA. Not only did these calls come from doctor attendees but also from patients who wanted to share their stories of how Contact Reflex Analysis had restored their health or the health of one of their family members. Many of these stories brought me to tears. There was the woman whose husband was dying of cancer. Medicine had given up on him; but, the imaging studies now revealed no evidence of cancer following CRA. There was the man who claimed his hearing had been restored. There was the parent whose child was healthy for the first time in their life. These stories, albeit anecdotal, seemed to be endless.
Success stories like these seem to always bring controversy and perhaps a better word is jealousy. I knew I’d entered a new world when a prominent member of a national chiropractic association cornered me at a convention in Cancun and wanted to ‘string me up’ because I was endorsing CRA. There were threats against me personally and against Parker College. Success and new ideas always spark controversy. These attacks made me more firm in my belief that CRA was something I needed to learn even more about.
CRA was not, however, new. CRA did, in fact, have years of study and clinical investigation behind it. Dr. Versendaal worked with medical professionals, clinical lab specialists, and several researchers when he first started developing his hypotheses dealing with CRA. What concerned me at that time were not, however, the attacks on CRA, but my fear that chiropractic as profession was falling into the medical trap of”…it must be researched and proven using our paradigms before you start practicing it.” Funny, when one thinks about it, I didn’t recall any research that led to the removal of thousands of patient tonsils and adenoids from children with ear infections. Remember when this was de riguer? I couldn’t find any research studies establishing the necessity for the numbers of C-Sections. I recalled asking a surgeon once (when I was an Operating Room Tech), why the lab reported that the appendix that we removed came back from the lab as ‘normal study’ almost every single time. The surgeon became indignant and said, “What difference does it make. They don’t need their appendix, and besides, they feel better afterward.” Right!
When I was younger, it seemed that everyone died of heart disease. As I grew older, cancer became the disease of the day. What changed? I often postulated that allopathy merely moved from one condition to another depending in a great part an economics and not just advances in medicine.
CRA is a system of health based on clinical results with patients; results that are duplicatable when used properly. It is a dynamic and changing health system based on the same triad of health upon which Palmer founded Chiropractic more than 100 years ago (mental, structural, and nutrition). It embraces the basic premise that although dis-ease impacts cells; it’s the whole body that must be addressed when one attempts to bring the body into homeostasis.
This treatise traces the history of Dr. Dick Versendaal and the phylogenesis of Contact Reflex Analysis over the past 50 years. In the next section we will discuss Dr. Versendaal, the early years.
Paul A. Jaskoviak, DC, DACAN, President, Director of CRA & Nutritional Research Foundation. Past Postgraduate Dean, Parker College of Chiropractic, Dallas, Texas.
BJ Palmer’s Last Printed Words
Note: BJ Palmer was the son of D.D. Palmer, the Father of Chiropractic.
Time always has and always will perpetuate those methods which better serve mankind. Chiropractic is no exception. My illustrious father placed this trust in my keeping, to keep it pure and unsullied or defamed. I pass it on to you unstained, to protect as he would have to do. As he passed on so will I. We admonish you to keep this principle and practice unadulterated and unmixed. Humanity needed than what he gave us. You need now what I give you. Out there in those great open spaces are multitudes seeked what you possess. The burdens are heavy; responsibilities are many; obligations are providential; but the satisfaction of traveling the populated highways and byways, relieving suffering and adding millions of years to lives o f millions of people, will bring forth satisfaction and glories with greater blessing than you think. Time is of the essence.
May God flow from above down His bounteous strengths, courage and understanding to carry on; and may your innates receive and act on that free flow of wisdom from above down, inside out…for you have in your possession a sacred trust. Guard it well. The basic premise of real Chiropractic states that there is within all living things an internal guiding intelligence, an innate intelligence, a wisdom within, a power greater than all things human which gives form, function, and meaning to life. An innate intelligence that allows the individual life that creative expression to align itself with a bigger vision that self. A vision that gives meaning to phrase ‘of being fully human,’ and that the vertebral subluxation complex is the worst, the worst and most tragic interference to the expression to the innate perfection in the living, being, causing humanity to unfold in an incongruent manner, causing the body and society to get unwell with itself in the planet we call home.