Contact Reflex Analysis

We are living in the midst of a “Wellness Revolution.”  Patients, primarily the baby boomers, are seeking greater levels of natural health care as they age. They are wealthier and more educated than their parents and are willing to spend more to attain a level of health that allows them to be stronger, healthier and more resistant to disease.

The insurance industry primarily limits reimbursement for the management of acute care services chiropractors provide. The model of patients depending upon their insurance to cover the rising costs for their health care has forced many of us to live within the paradigm of acute care management. This is contrary to the beliefs and benefits chiropractic has to offer, and undervalues its role. Fortunately, this does not have to occur. What does have to occur, in order to break the shackles of this bondage, is a broadening of our concept of healing and our willingness to study and learn many missing links to health. Many chiropractors feel that, if anyone is to take the rightful place as the leader in the Natural Healing movement in this country, it should be us. After all, we are the largest group of naturally oriented practitioners.

This demands that we, as chiropractors, step up to the plate and embrace the structural/neurological system as we know it, the chemistry or physiology and how it relates to nutritional and herbal intervention and the emotional or mental components of a patient.

Contact Reflex Analysis, developed by Dr. Dick Versendaal, is a technique that has stood the test of time and has been around for nearly 40 years. It has been utilized by thousands of doctors and has always been based on a triad of health. If we can perpetually balance the structure, chemistry and emotions of a patient, diminished disease and enhanced resistance must follow.

CRA is a muscle response system that enables you to navigate the status of a patient’s structure, chemistry and emotional state at any given time. It’s remarkable that you can define so many parameters of health accurately and correlate your findings with known diagnostic tests. In fact, once you have attained a commensurate level of skill, you are able to detect sub-clinical entities. This represents true preventative health care. Not only are you evaluating and treating your patient’s complaints more effectively, you are also treating the sub-clinical manifestations that may otherwise progress to enhanced disease.

CRA differs from many of the kinesiologic techniques being taught today. We have a unique monitoring system that allows the doctor to quantify a patient’s energy, pain, muscles, heart and chemistry. This is performed by “Pulsing and Scoring.” Doctors are taught how to rhythmically utilize the middle deltoid muscle or pulse, counting each depression numerically as the patient resists. This provides the doctor with a skill-set that analyzes the functional status of a particular organ, gland or tissue. We then teach you what the correct nutrient/herbal or homeopathic requirements are to assist the body in its need for restoration. This, also, is a process of quantification, allowing the dosage of any given therapeutic agent to be titrated to the exact requirements of the individual. It is a far cry from textbook or cookbook nutritional applications. We need to rise above the level of mediocrity that exists when doctors begin to employ nutrition in their practices.

The concepts of “just give them a multi-vitamin” and “I have covered all the bases” or “Just tell me what formula treats high cholesterol or diabetes,” leave us in the dust when making a comparative analysis of who should take the lead in providing a wellness model for health.

CRA does not favor one specific vertebra, but rather permits you to challenge where subluxations may exist, whether they are located in the axial or appendicular skeleton or both. You utilize the chiropractic technique you feel is best for your patient. We will teach you how to assess your validity and whether you have met the body’s needs.

There are some specific maneuvers that are genre to CRA, like an atlas wedge, a towers adjustment and a D4, but any means to resolve a subluxation complex that works, and you have mastery in, will more than suffice. Perhaps the real question is, “What is causing what?”

If a patient is suffering from a vertebral subluxation that is causing a significant pain pattern and we have not evaluated the inflammatory status or structural components that may be weak or degenerative due to faulty diet or nutritional insuffiencies, have we done our job? Think about what the world will say about chiropractors when we embody higher standards of care that are comprehensive and wellness-oriented, providing greater outcomes.

Dr. Loren Marks has been a clinical instructor with CRA for the past 13 years.  He teaches with Dr. Versendaal all over the country. For further information and seminar locations, visit

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