Before we know it, we will gather with family and friends around the table during our time honored Thanksgiving celebration to give thanks for our blessings and rewards. What giving thanks means to me, however, is more than just taking time out to think about the many ways I've been fortunate in my life and as the founder of a company that has been in business for nearly three decades.

Giving thanks to me means giving back and that's something that has been at the core of BIOTONE since the earliest days. It's always a great source of pride to be part of an industry whose very essence is about healing and providing comfort. So BIOTONE has sought ways through our various corporate giving initiatives to help spread that message and also expand the therapeutic possibilities massage therapy provides.

For years now, we've sponsored research into new areas where massage working conjunction with conventional therapies has enormous potential for healing. I'm most proud of the community programs we support through the Massage Therapy Foundation Community Service granting programs. What makes this program so unique is that it fosters research while at the same time providing massage through community-based programs to individuals who would otherwise never have access to the healing - both physical and mental - powers of the therapy.

This year, our financial contribution is supporting two critical community based projects:

In Portland, Ore., our grant will allow Outside In, a center that provides primary health care and integrated health options to more than 7,400 homeless and low-income people, to hire a part-time massage therapist to provide four hours of 50-minute therapeutic massages a week to at least 200 clients over the course of a year. These clients are suffering from substance abuse, mental illness and chronic disease.

At the Center for Traditional Medicine, a small public health service in Cabo Corrientes, Mexico, near Puerto Vallarta, BIOTONE's grant will help to expand treatment for those suffering from chronic pain as well as from untreated or insufficiently treated injuries.

Our giving isn't always monetary. This year, BIOTONE donated Dual-Purpose Massage Creme to use in massage therapy on the International Professional Cycling Team Type 1 in its quest to create diabetes fitness wareness and raise money for a cure. The eight-member Team Type 1 was founded in 2004 by Phil Southerland and Joe Eldridge, cyclists living with Type 1 diabetes, to compete in the transcontinental, non-stop Race Across America (RAAM). After winning the race in 2006 and 2007, the program grew to include a men's professional team, which continues to ride in the annual 3000-mile race.

We welcome groups such as Team Type 1 to contact us about ways we can donate BIOTONE products to help team participants as they strive to leverage athletics to advance medical science to find a cure for a major disease.

These are just some of the ways BIOTONE expresses our thanks to the industry and for the many customer who have been with us over the years and the new customers who join the BIOTONE family each year. You have helped the company stay at the forefront of the industry and for that we are deeply honored and grateful.

I'd love to hear what you feel most grateful for and how you give back to your community as a way of saying thanks.