The Genesis of dk-8
An 8 Year Journey Transforms Into An 8 Week
Customized Wellness Program
2000
With Bill Clinton in Chicago
I was living in Chicago, IL working hard in my new position as The Director of The Israel Economic Mission to North America – Midwest Region.  It was a political appointment through the Israeli Economic Minister.  An American Jewish girl raised in NY, I was always involved in the Jewish Community and a staunch Zionist.  This was a unique opportunity to serve Israel and help promote foreign investment there.  It was my dream job and to date, I’m the youngest appointed diplomat in the history of the Israeli Government to North America.
2002
Madonna doing yoga
Due to the breakdown of the Oslo accords, the Middle East Peace Process failed and a new Intifada began.  With the tremendous stress at work, I fell ill with Epstein’s Bar Virus, needed to resign from my position, and moved back to NY where my family lives.  I was bed-ridden for five months and slept for most of it.  Upon recovery, I asked about going back to the gym, as I had gained 50lbs with this illness.  The doctor explained that I would be risking a relapse due to a severely compromised immune system.  Having seen an interview with Madonna who said that yoga is all you need to stay healthy, I asked my doctor about it and he agreed.  For the rest of the year, I just focused on getting better physically.  By the end of the year, I was ready to “get back to life”.
2003
Bikram training
With a professional background in International Marketing, I wasn’t ready to meet the demands of another corporate position after my illness.  Instead, I worked for a wealthy family in Manhattan.  I was the wife’s personal assistant and managed all her needs; from house-management and party planning to traveling with her children – I was her go-to-girl.  They were a lovely family and this was the perfect job to allow me the time to focus on my health.  I got more involved with Bikram yoga and by the end of year, not only did I loose the 50 lbs, my body transformed into its best shape yet.  I found my fountain of youth – the outlet I needed to maintain my health and well-being for the rest of my life.  I quit my job to start the Bikram Yoga Teacher Training Program in January 2004.
2004
Jamie Foxx
As a Certified Bikram Yoga Teacher, I needed to figure out where to rebuild my life.  The illness had taken a huge toll on me, but without it, I would have never found yoga.  There is always a silver-lining to each cloud!  Through a series a coincidences, I moved to Miami to integrate my international marketing talents with the biggest real estate market boom and started working as a luxury residential realtor.  It was a great career move:  With flexible hours, I managed my real estate schedule to ensure adequate income while pursuing my passion: health and well-being.
2006
While on my first vacation since moving to Miami, I was in a bad horseback riding accident.  Having grown-up with horses, I was an accomplished rider.  But the barn didn’t saddle the horse correctly and upon falling, I broke my neck, 4 ribs, and sustained Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI).  I was airlifted back to NY to receive proper medical treatment.  Once again in a health crisis, I started rehabilitation at The RUSK Rehabilitation Institute at NYU and moved in with my dear, old friend, Charles, who lived a few blocks away from the hospital.  The neck and rib fractures were painful.  I was scared out of my mind – concerned about my future health and whether I would make a full recovery.  I had broken my C2 vertebrae; I was 1 millimeter away from complete paralysis, 1.5 millimeters away from not surviving.  But I did survive and I was able to walk.  There must have been a reason for this.  So, I plugged away at rehab and 8 weeks after my accident, still in a neck brace, I went back into the yoga studio to heal.  I had met so many people in the yoga world – one miracle healing story after another.  I knew yoga was my solution – once again, yoga would be my ticket to regain my health and my life.  But, it was HARD!  During my first class, I was able to stay in the room for only 5 minutes – my beloved 90 minute practice was now impossible.  Everyone around me thought I was crazy – doing yoga with a broken neck!  The doctors thought I was crazy because I refused pain medication and the anti-depressants that was part of their TBI protocol.  RUSK is considered the #2 Rehabilitation Hospital in the US for brain injury and while I was grateful to go to their therapy sessions, I rejected all pharmaceutical drugs.  I used my yoga breathing techniques for the pain and used my meditation and visualization techniques to plan my life after rehab.  This was all I focused on – getting out of rehab and getting back to life.  With the Miami Real Estate Market declining, I figured working in the NYC luxury residential real estate industry would be a great place to start and got my NY realtor’s license while in rehab.

Charlie and Nicole’s First Hand Account of Danielle’s Recovery

As my yoga practice got better, my brain got better.  What was supposed to take 5 years to recover from – took me 6 months.  In the Fall of ‘06, I started looking for a luxury realtor position in NYC and by the time New Years came – I was still out of work.  So, I prayed.  I prayed for a project that would take me out of NYC – where I could be productive and figure out where I should rebuild my life.  It was obvious that NYC wasn’t the place to rebuild – with all my proven international marketing experience – with all my accomplishments in the Miami market – not one luxury residential real estate firm was interested in hiring me.  And then, just 2 weeks after I prayed for a project – it presented itself: Aunt Julie.
Getting back in the saddle
2007
Aunt Julie is not really my aunt, but an old family friend who I grew up with.  I always admired Aunt Julie – she was the quintessential southern belle – blond hair, blue eyes, gorgeous, elegant lady who ran marathons and was always so sweet to me.  I loved her.  She had remarried and moved away from NY 16 years prior and was having dinner with my parents one evening in NYC.  My parents invited me and I gladly accepted.  I had not seen Julie in years and was horrified at her condition: she had suffered a stroke 15 years ago and was severely disabled.  Unable to walk independently, she needed a brace on her left leg while hanging onto her husband to drag herself around (she really needed a wheel chair, but vanity prevented such assistance), she slurred her words and could barely feed herself.  During that January dinner, most of the conversation revolved around my “miraculous” recovery.  I sat there, quiet the entire time, in awe of how quickly my new projected presented itself.  At the end of dinner, I said to her, “Julie, I deeply believe that everything happens for a reason and now I understand why I had my accident and why I can’t find a job in NYC.  I need to help you.  I know what it’s like to loose the functioning in the left side of your body because the right part of your brain is damaged.  I know what it is to slur your words.  I know what it is to be in tremendous pain – I was there – just last year.  I got myself out by integrating Western and Eastern medicine. I will take everything I learned from my own experience last year and help you out of this mess!  I can’t stay in Savannah until you completely recover, but what I can do is stop this downward spiral of deterioration and start an upward spiral of healing.  Then, I will find professionals in your area to create an infrastructure for you to continue with your healing after I leave.”  Julie smiled and asked me, “What do you eat for breakfast?”
Julie driving
While in Savannah, I decided to rebuild my life in Los Angeles.  Similiar to Miami with its beach culture, yet an established city like NYC, I moved to LA in June to establish my old life – luxury residential realtor full-time and yoga teacher part-time.  I was in LA for 3 weeks when my mother, Judith, called to tell me her mammography came back abnormal - I intuitively knew that I wasn’t going to be in LA for long. While preparing to return home to take care of my mother during her battle with breast cancer, I started looking for other healing modalities that may help me help my mother through her upcoming ordeal.  I found it:  Reconnective Healing™ – a hands-off healing modality that had documented after documented case of healing people with everything from cancer to drug addiction to cerebral palsy.  The stories were endless.  I returned to NY and moved in with my parents to ensure that my mother would not only get through chemotherapy and radiation effectively, but would get through it with as much comfort as possible.
Judith at the spa
I arrived back in NY with Mom completely dependent on valium, a result of her distraught condition over the diagnosis and the intense fear of what awaited her vis-à-vis the treatment program.  I brought her to a Reconnective Healing™ Practitioner in NYC and after one session, she was off the valium.  More impressively, she stayed off of it throughout her treatment.  I set up a yoga therapy program that she stuck to throughout chemo and radiation.  Her side effects were minimal and she stayed off of all periphery drugs (pain killers, anti-depressants, anti-nausea drugs).  Eight weeks after her entire treatment program was complete, still with no hair, no eye-lashes, and no eye-brows, she completed the 5K Race-For-The-Cure in Central Park in May 2008.
2008
With Julie and Judi back on their feet, it was time for me to get back on mine.  I moved to LA in Oct. 2008 to manage an art gallery in Beverly Hills.  Given my love for art (I minored in Art History at Emory University and was a docent at The Bass Museum in Miami), I thought this would be the perfect position for a my new, conventional life.  But there were other plans for me: As a result of the real estate market and financial market melt-downs, the owner closed his gallery.  Explaining my circumstances to a dear friend over dinner one evening, he asked me, “Why don’t you take your passion and be a healer?  You’re so good at it!  Not only have you helped yourself, you have helped so many people.  I think this is your true calling.”
Dr. Lipman

In 2008, I officially launched dk-8.  I incorporated everything I learned and transformed it into a customized, comprehensive wellness program. Regardless of the type of health concern, dk-8 helps people heal while teaching them the necessary tools to ensure their wellness long-term.  I’m so saddened when I see people suffer needlessly because I know I can help: I know what it is to be in a health crisis – it happened to me twice.  I know what it is to have the stress of not only dealing with an illness or injury, but to deal with the ramifications surrounding it, i.e. loss of work/home/life.  I know what it is for a family to be under severe stress due to the health crisis of a loved one.  I know what it is to suffer from a weight problem – it’s been my nemesis since age 12 and was only resolved at the age of 35 through my studies of integrative nutrition under Jeanette Bronee.

before and after
Article: Pounds Away!

10 percent of my time each month is donated to those who can’t afford my service.

dk-8 is my life’s work:  To help people heal, one person at a time.

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Thank you for the opportunity to serve you.

Danielle Kirk
Certified Integrative Nutritionist
Certified Bikram Yoga Instructor
Certified Reconnective Healing Practitioner