After a difficult birth delivering the twins, Dick and Jacqueline, Magdalena Versendaal suffered from migraines and fibromyalgia. For thirteen years Dick’s father took her to many doctors including those at Mayo Clinic, but she got no relief. It was Dick's 5th grade schoolteacher who suggested going to see Dr William Vander Stolp, a chiropractor trained by BJ Palmer. After 12 weeks of adjustments Dick’s mother was out of bed and healed.
Dick remembers this vividly.
"After thirteen years, I had my mother back." Dick Versendaal knew he wanted to be a chiropractor when his mom was miraculously cured through the help of chiropractic care.
A touching moment was when Dr. Versendaal shared the story with a room filled with doctors at a Contact Reflex Analysis® seminar. With an emotional voice he asked how many of us would be willing to endure extreme pain and lay there for thirteen years so that others might have hope and healing later? “That is what my mother did.” Her suffering laid down foundations for Dick’s passionate pursuit of helping other patients through chiropractor care; eventually leading to CRA (Contact Reflex Analysis).
Dick’s childhood experiences were some of the most influential factors in his life. During the years that his mother was sick, he also had to deal with asthma and allergies. In 1st grade he had pneumonia and missed so much school that he had to repeat the grade. It was heartbreaking for him when his twin sister moved on to second grade without him.
Dick was a head shorter than he sister even as he entered high school. His illnesses stunted his growth. Dick never accepted that “he just wasn’t big enough,” but endured bullying, teasing, and mocking. He was determined to prove himself any way possible under pressure and ridicule by peers at such a vulnerable time in life. Amazingly, when his mother was healed, he grew ten inches in 6 months.
Dick’s father was an herbalist, dowser, and shoe cobbler. He would often follow his father through the fields and woods, helping him collect herbs, which were used for many kinds of medicinal purposes. This collection of herbs was for the family, but also for customers who came to his shoe repair shop. He helped people with their shoes and with their health. These experiences were the seeds that were planted and grew to be a part of the Contact Reflex Analysis system: subtle energy, nutrition, orthotics.
After high school Dick took the road less traveled and went to Palmer College of Chiropractic in Davenport, IA. He was fortunate to have BJ Palmer as a professor and being responsible for taping his lectures.
Dick’s training in nutrition continued, but it was not through a college course. He worked his way through school selling stainless steel cookware by Flavor Seal. His training prepared him to go into the homes of Iowa farmers where he did his first “seminars” teaching them about nutrition, food preparation, and healthy meals. Dick prepared a meal made in the pans and shared it with the family. The experience was delightful, and the food tasted so good that the cookware sold itself.
Dr. Versendaal graduated in 1959 and began his practice in Redlands, California. He continued to study at 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 mentor. Dr. Parker shared his knowledge of nutrition as well as his library of writings by a dentist names Dr. Royal Lee. Dick studied the notes and research finding of this genius doctor and researcher and would later apply this knowledge to his own practice.
After one year, Dr. Versendaal returned to his home in Holland, Michigan. His first-born son had passed away 24 hours after birth. It was time to be back with family. With the seeds of health and nutrition firmly planted, a foundation existed for the growth of a new paradigm for health. This was the base upon which Contact Reflex Analysis was developed.
For Dr. Versendaal, the concept and study of reflexes began in the 60s during the years he was attending kinesiology seminars taught by Dr. George Goodheart. One seminar in particular caught Dick’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 proceed to correct the hernia. As a result, Dr. Versendaal experience relief and an amazing, complete healing of his stomach trouble.
For many weeks after the seminar, Dr. Versendaal experimented by testing areas of his patient’s mouths. He, however, could never achieve the results that Dr. Johnson had. As he worked, it occurred to him that if there were reflexes in the mouth, there had to be reflexes on the body just as there were in acupuncture. So began the intense research that Dick continued for over 50 years.
Dick began to test his patients, applying the knowledge he had of both applied kinesiology and reflexology. He would compare his findings with a patient’s list of symptoms and any information and/or test results a medical doctor may have given the patient. The findings of this research became the first reflexes used during the early stages of Contact Reflex Analysis®.
For over 50 years, Dr. Versendaal continued to find correlations between structures, organs, nutritional chemistry, and reflexes. He was an expert at nutrition and a genius at understanding how the body works together as a whole - he taught Contact Reflex Analysis to thousands of health professionals around the world!
CRA started out as a complex method of testing over 350 reflexes. There was a method to how Dr. Versendaal taught these reflexes, but it was not consistent as he often followed his own intuition and knowing. This, along with the hundred of reflexes, made it difficult for doctors to learn.
By 1993 the system was simplified. Dr. Versendaal’s daughter, Dawn Ranae, worked with him to streamline CRA with a specific testing sequence and 75 major reflexes. This sequence has since been referred to as the 9-3-1 Sequence because the 75 reflexes were organized and divided into a system with nine main reflexes and the associated sub-reflexes, three thyroid reflexes, and one adrenal reflex.
After that time, the CRA technique and system continued to grow. A variety of testing sequences were developed, and the pulsing technique was added. This technique gave doctors the ability to score frequencies, which continues to set CRA apart from all other energy techniques. Organ flushing, balancing the feet, heart and brain energy connection, and Sympathetic Resonance Technology were added into the testing and management protocols.
Over the years, Dr. Versendaal worked with many different nutritional companies, including Standard Process, Anabolic, NutriDyn, and Biotics. Research continued and new avenues of healing were continually being discovered. In 2009 Dr. Versendaal was the driving force and inspiration in starting the nutritional supplement and essential oil company called VerVita Products.
It was during this time that the economy in the United States crashed, and people were struggling financially. The nutritional companies Dr. Versendaal worked with had hundreds of products. This caused a problem for many doctors as they could no longer afford the high cost of keeping hundreds of different products in inventory. Their patients also could not afford to purchase the wide variety of supplements needed either.
True to form, Dr. Versendaal came up with a solution that helped doctors and their patients. Being the genius in understand how the body works together as a whole—energetically, structurally, biochemically, and emotionally—he used his knowledge to formulate VerVita’s line of 10 nutritional supplements, six essential oils, and two creams that balance the body’s systems. These formulas support not only one specific organ or gland but also the systems of organs, glands, and structure in the manner that they work together.
A biochemist and an aromatherapist were part of his team in creating the formulas. He used his skills at testing the energies of each formula, dictating when a certain ingredient made energy too high or too low. They worked on the formula until Dr. Versendaal tested and the formula had a strong and balanced energy.
The VerVita products are still used as an integral part of the CRA system as they are energetically formulated and a simple, effective way to support the body as a whole.
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 modern wellness. Dr. Versendaal spent his energy and his time, his days and nights mentoring and advising other healers. His research continued throughout his life 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, genius, and healer—strove to improve upon the old, and continually searched for new, better, and more efficient ways to promote healing. CRA continued to grow and develop as Dr. Versendaal influenced healers from around the world, served the hurting with a tireless passion, and brough hope to the hopeless.
Dawn Ranae worked tireless alongside her dad writing CRA books, developing educational materials, setting up seminars and co-teaching with him. In 2013 she gave him several topics to talk about while she videotaped. For one video, she asked him, “Why are you so passionate?” He answered by first telling the story about how chiropractic helped his mother and how he decided at age 13 to be “that kind of doctor.” He went on to say the following:
When we become healers, we have to feel that energy; we have to feel that passion; we have to feel God within us. We have to feel the desire to work with patients through all the hurts, pains, emotions, and losses they have in their life. Every night I go to bed thanking God for the day, praising him for the results, and I ask him to help me bring in new people and help me produce new miracles every day…It’s amazing when you use these talents to help the patient live longer, work hard, enjoy their family, enjoy their work—and as a result, that’s where I get my passion from, helping people and blessing people every day.”
In 2014 Dr. Versendaal was killed in a tragic car accident. It came as a shock to everyone as Dr. Versendaal was in perfect health, full of energy and dreams. He seemed to be the kind of person who would live forever. Though he is very much alive even today, it was not to be on this earth. Here’s how Dr. Versendaal viewed the precious gift of life:
Our life is a book, and every part of that book is a chapter, and the chapters of those books are stories. There are stories of difficult times. There are stories of good time. There are stories of romance and blessings and spiritual things in your life. At the end of your life, it is wonderful if you can write a chapter that says it was a good life, and I honored God through difficult times and hard times. Somehow God with me. He blessed me and helped me, and he showed me ways to help people and bless people. That’s my story.
The Torch is Passed to Dawn Ranae
Just as his father mentored him, Dr. Versendaal mentored his daughter, Dawn. She is an inspiring example to those who have lost hope because she has not only continued running her father’s CRA seminars, but she has organized the teachings for future generations. She has taken CRA to a new level as doctors use it to transform their practices, their lives, and the lives of their patients.
Dawn is a highly skilled healer with expertise in Contact Reflex Analysis. She created modules to teach the various sequences and demonstrates how they are interconnected, building upon each other. Dawn has written a book for module 1, is writing one for module 2, developed online training in an CRA app on phone or desktop that can be accessed by doctors and teaches seminars across the country where she exhibits her rare combination of skills as both expert therapist and gifted teacher. Doctors appreciate her ability to break down complex sequences into simple steps. They also appreciate how she teaches them how to integrate all their skills, techniques, and protocols into the CRA system. Doctors can determine the right thing at the right time for the highest good of each patient. All the knowledge, expertise, and skills of the doctor is used in the CRA system. Nothing is wasted.
In April 2021, Dawn officially certified the first group of doctors as CP-CRA 1, Certified Practitioners of CRA – Module 1. This in-depth certification process allows CRA Wellness and CRA doctors to have confidence in referring to another CRA practitioner. It also provides credibility to the CRA brand that Dr. Versendaal worked to create.
Dawn has taken CRA to a new level. Doctors say that Contact Reflex Analysis has transformed their practices, and it's also changed the lives of doctors and patients alike. Her father, Dr. Dick Versendaal, is proud of her and all the doctors who are continuing his work to bless the world.
Let’s keep shining the light!