Dick Versendaal was born March 18, 1937 mere minutes before his twin, Jackie.  It was a difficult birth both emotionally and physically for their mom.  She was 42 years old with five other children, and together the twins weighed over 20 pounds.  Her body was traumatized. For the next 13 years she spent days and even weeks in bed suffering with migraines and fibromyalgia.

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If Chiropractic Can Do This…

Dick remembers walking into a dark bedroom and putting cool washcloths on his mother’s forehead. His father took her to the local doctors and even visited Mayo Clinic with no results. It was Dick’s 5th grade school teacher that came to visit one day and suggested they go to a chiropractor to see if he could provide relief.  After 12 weeks of adjustments from Dr. William Vander Stolp, a chiropractor trained by B.J. Palmer, Dick’s mother was out of bed, functioning without pain, completely healed. Dick remembers this vividly. “After thirteen years, I had my mother back.” At a very young age Dick Versendaal knew he wanted to be a chiropractor. He thought, “If chiropractic can do this for my mother, then that is what I want to do. I want to be a chiropractor and do these miracles for others.” That is exactly what he did for over 50 years.

Difficult Times Laid the Foundation

It was a touching moment when Dr. Dick Versendaal shared his story with a room filled with health professionals. With a voice choked with deep emotion he asked, “How many of you would be willing to be in extreme pain and lay in bed for 13 years so others might be given hope and offered healing many years later? That’s what my mother did.”  It was her pain that laid the foundation for Dick’s passionate pursuit to help others through chiropractic and eventually CRA. Many other family and childhood experiences were influential in molding Dick into the determined, caring chiropractor that he was. During the years of his mother’s illness he suffered from allergies and asthma. He had to repeat 1st grade because he missed much of the school year due to pneumonia. His twin sister moved on to 2nd grade.  That was a difficult blow to a 6 year old child.  He was also small, much smaller than his twin.  Dick begrudgingly spoke about getting a small red wagon for his birthday while his sister got a big red wagon. When he learned to drive, he had to sit on stacked catalogues topped with a pillow so he could see over the steering wheel.

 

Dick talked about the extreme growing pains he suffered when he finally started to grow in his teenage years. He would double over with pain and have to stop along the side of the road as he walked home from school. At no time would Dick accept that he just “wasn’t big enough”. He endured the bullying, the teasing, and the mocking and was determined to prove himself in whatever ways he could. Dick learned as he followed his father through the fields and woods, helping him collect herbs, which were used for all kinds of medicinal purposes. His father was a cobbler and repaired shoes. He looked at people’s feet and many times could tell them what was wrong just by how their feet looked. He would create special shoes for people with special needs; a support here, a lift there…all to balance the feet so the body would have a solid base. Only high quality breathable leather was used. Plastic or synthetics, even when they came into fashion was never used. These experiences were the seeds for the nutrition and orthotics he developed and still recommended today.

The Road Less Traveled

After high school graduation Dick took the road less traveled and went to Palmer College of Chiropractic in Davenport, IA. He worked his way through school by selling stainless steel cookware. Dr. Joseph King Fontes, a chiropractic student at the age of fifty, was the regional distributor for the cookware company Dick worked for. He taught Dr. Versendaal about food, nutrition, and nutritious preparation and cooking. In turn, Dr. Versendaal helped him study anatomy, physiology and organic chemistry. Dr. Versendaal took the information that Dr. King taught him and gave his first “seminars”. These seminars were given in the homes of Iowa farmers. He demonstrated how to prepare and cook healthy meals in the heavy-duty stainless steel pains. As he worked he taught the farmer’s wives about the importance of nutrition and proper health care. A shared, healthy, home cooked meal was the grand finale of each visit.  The food tasted so good the cookware sold itself.

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Dr. Dick Versendaal

After graduating in 1959, Dr. Versendaal started his practice in Redlands, California. He also attended Cleveland College of Chiropractic and completed postgraduate studies in obstetrics, physiotherapy, and clinical trauma. During those early years chiropractors were encouraged to know how to deliver babies and to be able to perform minor surgery.

It was in California that Dick met Dr. Thomas Parker who became his friend and his mentor. Dr. Parker shared his knowledge of nutrition as well as his library of writings by a dentist named Dr. Royal Lee. Dr. Versendaal studied the notes and research finding of this genius doctor and researcher, and applied this knowledge to his own practice. He began to explore the results that could be achieved by matching specific nutrition with specific syndromes.

Home is Where the Heart Is

After one year in California, Dr. Versendaal returned to his home in Holland, Michigan. With the seeds of health and nutrition firmly planted, a basic foundation existed for the growth of a new paradigm for health. This was the base upon which Contact Reflex Analysis was developed. The concept and study of reflexes began during the years that Dr. Dick A. Versendaal was attending kinesiology seminars taught by Dr. George Goodheart. One seminar in particular caught Dr. Versendaal’s attention and his curiosity was piqued. It was a seminar taught by Dr. Johnston, a mentor and friend to Dr. Goodheart. At the seminar Dr. Johnston taught and demonstrated reflexology of the mouth. Curious, Dr. Versendaal shared with Dr. Johnston that he was suffering from stomach trouble, and no doctor had yet been able to offer him any relief. Dr. Johnston thoroughly tested the reflexes in his mouth, discovered that he had a hiatal hernia, and then proceeded to correct the hernia. As a result Dr. Versendaal experienced relief and subsequent complete healing of his stomach trouble.

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The CRA Seed Was Planted

For many weeks after the seminar Dr. Versendaal experimented by testing areas of his patient’s mouths. He could, however, never achieve the results that Dr. Johnston had. It occurred to him then, if there were reflexes in the mouth there had to be reflexes on the body as well. So began the intense research that he continued throughout his life. He applied the knowledge he had of both kinesiology and reflexology and began to test his patients. He would then compare his findings with what the patient would tell him and with what other doctors had told the patient. The results became the first reflexes used during the early stages of Contact Reflex Analysis.

Early on in this research Dr. Versendaal had to drive his mother to an appointment with a well known medical doctor, Dr. Peter Northhouse. When her appointment was finished Dr. Northhouse called him into his office. He told Dick his mother bragged about his abilities and he was curious if he was really as good as she said he was. Not quite sure why the MD was asking, Dick answered with, “Yes, I am very good at what I do.” The doctor then proceeded to tell him about the pain in his shoulder that was impairing his ability to work. He said, “Young man, I’ve had many doctors attempt to help me. If you are as good as you say you are and you can help me, I will work to make you famous.”

Dr. Versendaal adjusted Dr. Northhouse’s 4th cervical and left confident he had done what was necessary for his body to heal.  Two weeks later, Dr. Versendaal received a phone call that Dr. Northhouse wanted to see him.  He had no idea what to expect as he was ushered into this doctor’s office once again. With a quick explanation that his pain was completely gone, Dr. Northhouse handed Dr Versendaal an envelope containing payment for the adjustment.  It contained a title to a 1915 Model T Touring that was stored in a local museum and valued at $15,000. Dr. Versendaal will jokingly say, “I’ve never again been paid that much for a cervical adjustment.” Model T

Dr. Versendaal continued to find correlations between the structures, nutritional chemistry and the reflexes. In this next phase the patient’s symptoms, reflex testing, medical test results, adjustments, nutritional treatments, and final results were documented. Medical tests, including blood, urine, endocardiograph, and X-rays were done at various intervals over a period of time. It was with the combined efforts and expertise of Dr. Versendaal, Dr. Peter Northhouse, M.D., Harry Eidenier, Sr., C.N., Dr. Ed Hartman, D.D.S., and Walleed Karachy, a hematologist that all of these tests could be performed. These men were invaluable in the research and development of applied clinical nutrition and CRA. This team worked diligently to collect enormous amounts of data, compile, organize, analyze, and to synthesize it into a simple, accurate method that doctors could use in their daily practice. These records went to Palmer College of Chiropractic for further study.

Researching For Better Solutions

Dr. Versendaal continued to find correlations between the structures, nutritional chemistry and the reflexes. In this next phase the patient’s symptoms, reflex testing, medical test results, adjustments, nutritional treatments, and final results were documented. Medical tests, including blood, urine, endocardiograph, and X-rays were done at various intervals over a period of time. It was with the combined efforts and expertise of Dr. Versendaal, Dr. Peter Northhouse, M.D., Harry Eidenier, Sr., C.N., Dr. Ed Hartman, D.D.S., and Walleed Karachy, a hematologist that all of these tests could be performed. These men were invaluable in the research and development of applied clinical nutrition and CRA. This team worked diligently to collect enormous amounts of data, compile, organize, analyze, and to synthesize it into a simple, accurate method that doctors could use in their daily practice. These records went to Palmer College of Chiropractic for further study.

Balancing the Body With
Nutrition and Essential Oils

Since those early years research continued and new avenues of healing continued to be discovered. In 2009 Dr. Versendaal was influential in starting a company called VerVita Products. He used his knowledge of how the body functions energetically, structurally, and biochemically as a whole and worked with a biochemist and aroma therapist to formulate 10 nutritional products and 6 essential oils to balance the entire body. Dr. Versendaal trained and coached health professionals to efficiently and effectively balance the entire body using VerVita’s minimal inventory of high quantity products.

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Dick’s childhood experiences created a solid foundation for the determination, passion and drive that made him not only a successful doctor, but a true healer in the culture of wellness today. Dr. Versendaal spent his energy and his time, his days and nights mentoring and advising other healers. His research continued as he treated many critically ill patients, pouring out his heart and energy to those who had been given no hope. The researcher and the genius are never satisfied. Neither is the healer. Dr. Versendaal, a researcher, a genius, and a healer, strove to improve upon the old, and continually searched for new, better, and more efficient ways to promote healing. CRA will continue to grow and develop as Dr. Versendaal’s passion and heart for serving others lives on through the work of the CRA community.  His influence expands to healers around the world as they work to serve those who are hurting with a tireless passion, and bring hope to the hopeless.

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