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Publication numberUS2460245 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJan 25, 1949
Filing dateMay 26, 1945
Priority dateMay 26, 1945
Publication numberUS 2460245 A, US 2460245A, US-A-2460245, US2460245 A, US2460245A
InventorsDonald V Summerville
Original AssigneeAeromat Products Company Inc
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Massaging apparatus or the like
US 2460245 A
Abstract  available in
Previous page
Next page
Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Janf25, 1949. D, V, SUMMERVILLE 2,460,245

MASSAGING APPARATUS OR THE LIKE Filed May 26, 1945 2 Sheets-Sheet l www I llfllllllllllllllllllll ATTORNEYS Jan- 25, 1949- D. v. sUMMERvlLLE 2,460,245

MASSAGING APPARATUS OR THE LIKE Filed May 2 6, 1945 2 sheets-sheet 2 33 32 jig. 5,

|||||l u xl INVENTOR Wanda zz//f//zc/w/e,

ATTORNEYS Patented Jan. 25, 1949 MAssAcrNcArrARA'rUs on THE LIKE Donald V. Summerville, Fort Erie, Ontario, Canada, assignor to Aeromat Products Company,

Inc., Buifalo, N. Y.

Application May '26, 1945, serial No. 595,929

8 Claims. (C1. 12S-33) l -This invention relates to massage apparatus lor devices for producing pulsating or intermittent surface pressure effects on the human body or anatomy for the relief or muscular pains or fatigue. While the embodiment of the invention herein disclosed includes an element in the form of a pneumatic cushion or seat pad especially` v adapted for massaging or treating one or another affected portion of the body to re-establish circulation, innervation and general reduction of fatigue in the affected regions. When a person sits without change of position for a considerable period of time, he or ,she develops what is known as compression pain or fatigue of the gluteal or buttock muscles. This is caused by the weight of the torso affecting these muscles and thereby restricting arterial and venous circulation and impeding nerve impulse or function within this area. This is a true fatigue with agonizing symptoms under certain conditions, as in the case of an'aeronaut who Aoften has to maintain substantially the same cramped sitting position over long periods of time.

A particular purpose cf my Ainvention is the provision of a seat` pad, cushionV or parachute pack seat for useby aeronauts and airplane passengers, or a seat pad for drivers of motor vehicles or other persons required to occupy sitting positions for extended periods of time, which will afford a mostv practical means for relieving such fatigue or distress by massaging such muscles or areas of the body during the time that the person is required -to maintain the sitting posture. However, pads, mats, sacks or the like embodying the invention also provide practical means for relief in other cases, such as bed-ridden caseswhere constant or protracted i prone positions of a patient predisposes to compression fatigue and discomfort, which are the forerunners of the common bed sores, and for effectively treating or massaging of persons aficted with poliomyelitis or infantile paralysis to enhance to a greater degree their useful recovery, it being recognized that massage treatment is very beneficial in such cases.

Another object of the invention is to provide an improved device which will be especially efiicient for body treatment purposes such as before' mentioned.

' Otherv objects of the Vinvention are to provide a device in thenature of a pneumatic cushion, mat or" the like having vfluid pressure-conning cells in which the fluid'pressure'is controlled or 2 alternately applied and relieved so as to produce a pulsating action of walls of the cells for the treatment of the body; also to provide a novel device which will produce a bodily massaging or kneading effect more nearly likethat produced by hand massaging; also to provide a massaging device in the nature of a pad, sack or the like having plural flexible walled cells and means for producing pulsating uid pressures therein so as to effect pressure increases and decreases alternately in adjacent cells; also to provide such a device with means for admitting iiuid pressure to said adjacent cells alternately and relieving the pressure in one cell while the pressure is increasing in the adjacent cell so as to subject one area of the body to pressure While relieving pressure on an immediately adjourning area; also to provide an improved massaging device by means of which the body can be subjected to pulsating or intermittent pressures of variable effect, as desired. Y

Further objects and advantages of the invention will appear from the following specification of the preferred embodiment of the invention shown in the accompanying drawings, and the novel features of the invention are set forth in the appended claims.

vIn said drawings:

Fig. l is a sectional elevational view of an apparatus embodying the invention, showing the cushion' pad or mat element thereof in horizontal section on line 2-2, Fig. 2. e

Fig. 2 is a transverse, vertical section of the pad element. f

Fig. 3 is a vertical, sectional elevation of the iiuidpressure control or valve mechanism, and showing the valve elements in position to admit fluid pressure to the inner pad cell.

Fignl is a horizontal, sectional view of the control or valve mechanism on line li-4, Fig. 3.

Fig. 5 is a horizontal, sectional view of the control or valve mechanism on line 5 5, Fig. 3.

. Fig. 6 is an enlarged, transverse sectional elevation online Fig. 3, e

Fig. 7 is an enlarged sectional view of the quick detachable connection for the pressure tubes with the seat pad.

Fig. 8 is a section of the quick-detachable coupling on line Fig. 7. Y

The pad, cushion or mat element I ilV may be of generally rectangular, relatively broad and flat or shallow shape and may be formed of sponge or air cell rubber or other suitable soft and pliable or resilient cushioning material Il which surrounds or-covers a relatively thin or shallow bag or sack l2, preferably made of rubber or analogous flexible, elastic material adapted to form fluid-tight chambers or cells. As shown, the bag or sack I2 is formed so as to provde cells i3 and I4 of U-shape in plan arranged site side partitions of the U-shaped partition I5 which separates the two cells. The pad or cushion may be provided with an outer cloth or the like protecting cover'or bag I1. V

This pad or cushion, which, as illustrated in the drawings, is made of suitable plan dimensions to provide a seat cushion for a normal-sized person, 'thus has therein relatively shallow, adjacent-inner and outer fluid pressure cells I3 and I4 having back portions I3 andY Illa that extend crossvvise beneath the rear portion of the buttocks of a person sitting on the pad, and connecting side portions that :extend forwardly Yfrom said connecting rear portions, With the side portions ofthe outer and inner cellsv'extending respectively be'neath'th'e uter inner portions of the gluteal. muscle areas -of the sitters legs. I pressure is admitted to and exhausted o rvrelieve'd from the p'ad cells i3 and VvIll respectively through suitable tubes orY conduits 2li and 2|. The conduit v2li connects with or is formed with a loop-shaped tube 22' extending Within and through the side and back connecting portions Vof the inner oeil "I3,V andthe other conduit 2l connects with or is formed with a similar loopshaped tube 23 extending within and through the side `land connecting back portions 'of the outer 'cell I4. lThese loop tubes may beflexible tubes provided substantially throughoutthe lengths of the'portions thereof withinthe cells with perforations 24 in their sides through which pressure fluid can enter and leave the cells, to thereby more uniformly distribute the V'ac'l'rnissio'n-'and'ex- CSi haust of the pressure throughout the cells, and

prevent the possibility of interruption in the delivery 'o'r discharge f, ,the pressure iluid to or from the cells, as might happenin the use of a single inlet and exit hole, by the collapsing of the pad cells at or near the hole under the Weight ofthe person sitting onthe pad.

Air or fluid under pressure is delivered to and exhausted from the pad cells I3 a`nd I4 by suitable means which preferably admits and 'exhausts or relieves pressure fluidv to and from the adjacent orinner and outer cells alternately, and in such a Way that While pressure is building up in one cell to inflate said cell, pressure Will be exhausting or relieved from the adjacent cell to deilate it, thus producing an alternating pulsating action of the adjacent cells. For this purpose, -in the embodiment of Ythe invention illustrated, a valve or control mechanism 25 is providedl to which the air or fluid is supplied under suitable pressure from a supply source, and which control mechanism admits the pressure fluid to and exhausts or relieves it from the adjacent cells I3 and I4 alternately, as above stated. This valveor control mechanism V25, as shown, is constructed as follows:

26 represents the casing of the device which `is formed in its opposite ends with actuator or pressure chambers 21 and `21a, and also with two valve 'chambers 28 and 28a between which is an exhaust chamber2'8bopening to the atmosphere. Valve chamber28 connects, as by a passage 29,

with the actuator chamber 21, and the valve chamber 28a connects, as byl a passage 29a, with the actuator chamber 21a. 'Said valve chambers communicate with eachother, as by a passage 30 in the casing, and one actuator chamber 21, communicates, as by a passage 3| in the casing, with the tube 26 leading to the inner cell I 3 of the pad It, and said other actuator chamber 21a communicates, as 4by a passage 3Ia, with the other tube 2| leading to the outer pad cell I4. Air vor'fluid under appropriate pressure is supplied to the valve chambers 28 and 28a from a suitable source of air or fluid under pressure, as by a supply pipe 32 which may connect with one of the valve chambers, :as by a nipple or connection 33. One 'of these nipples is shown at each of the opposite e'nds of the casing 2B, Vand coinmuni'cates ivith the adjacent valve chamber to enable the connection of Vthe supply Pipe 32 at either end of the 'casing 26, Whichever may be most conven'ier'1t, and When it is connected to one nipple, the other'nipple 33 lisclosed, as by a screw cap or stopper 3B- When connected to either nipple; the supply pipe Will communicate with both v'alvechambers, since the two chambers are in communication with eachother through the Passag3 Y n A movable valve element 35 controls communication of the actuator chamber 21 with the valve chamber *'28, or with the exhaust chamber 28h through the passage 29, and asimilar movable valve element 35a controls communication of the otheractuator chamber 21a with the valve chamber 23a or 'with the exhaust chamber through thev passage 29u. These valve elements are connected to rn'ove in unison, and in the position thereof shown i'n Figs. 3 and/l, the pressure iiuid will flow from the valve 'chamber 28 past the valve through'the actuator chamber 2 1, passage 'JI and tube 2B vto the vinner pad cell I3, While pressure vfluid 'will Jexhaust' fro'm the 'other cell I4 through tube 2|, l'passage 3I'a, `Aa'c'ti'iat'or chamber 21a and passage 29u, past 'the valve Ito the exhaust chamber. In 'the other position of the valves 35 and 35a,the pressure iiud 'Will pass through the valve chamber 28a, actuator chamber 21a 1and tube ZI tothe outer pa'd eell I'4,`vvhile the pressure uid in the inner padl cell i3 can `exhaust through the tube 2(1,vac`tuator chamber 21 and passage Y29 past the valve 35 to 4the`exhaust'chamber which, as shownis open tothe -atmosphere throughan opening -31 in a Wall or, the casing 26.44 Shifting of the valve elements 35, 35a is controlled by an actuator having pistonfheads 4i) and 4-I at opposite ends of a-connecting rod 42 and arranged to reciprocate in the-actuator chambers 21 and 21a, so as to be moved 4in one'direction by -liuid pressure in the chamber/1 and `in the opposite cli'- rection by fluid pressure'in the chamber 21a, when the pressure vin thev chamber 21 or V21a-is increased to the desired maximum pressure in the pad cell I3 or I4.

Each of the valve elements 35 and 35a, shown, consists of areduced waist portion ifs connecting Yopposite v`spa-ced valve heads 445 and 4S having frusto-conica'l faces 'arranged to 'engage complementary valve seat's a't 'opposite-ends of 'a Seat-:tube 41 th-'rough which the reduced Waist of the valve'eement passes, and one -of which seat tubes 41 is threaded andscrewed into each of the valve'chambers 28 and 28a; 'In the position 'of the valves shown'in Figs-3 and 4, the VheadszS-of the two elements willb'e seated, while theother -liea'ds 46 -of the 'two elements vwill Vbe unseated, thus admitting the pressure fluid to the actuator chamber 21 and pad cell I3 and connecting the other pad cell I4 and actuator chamber 21a with the exhaust opening. By

35 and head 45 of element 35a, is made adjustable relatively to the opposite head of the element, as by a screw connection of therhead with the waist portion or connecting rod of the element. This adjustability of the valve heads and the adjustability of the seat tubes, vpermitted by their screw connections with their valve chambers, always ensures proper seating of the heads of the two elements on their seats inA both of the two posit-ions of the valve elements.

The valves are shifted to their two different operative positions by the actuator 40-4I, preferably through the medium of suitable springaction connections which, as shown, are as follows: The connecting rod 42 of the actuator is connected by a pin 49 to a lever 50 having a forked arm fulcrumed by pins I in the casing 26, on which fulcrum pins 5I are also fulcrumed the legs of a U-shaped link 52 which is connected to the adjacent ends of the rods 54 of the two valve elements 35 and 35a. As shown, these rods have bifurcated adjacent ends with slots through which a cross pin 53 of the link 52 passes, and a tension spring 55 is connected at opposite ends to the lever 50 and the free end of link 52 so that when the actuator lll-4I is moved in one direction, for instance to the left, asshown in the drawings, by the iiuid pressure in the actuator chamber 21a, the lever 50 will be swung to the left as shown in Fig. 3 and carryY the connected end of the spring 55 with it pastA a central or dead center position and by the pull of the spring, swing the link 52 also to the left'to shift the valve elements 35 and 35a to thel posi-v tion shown in Fig. 3, and thereby seat the heads i5 of the Valve elements B-E'and 35a and unseat the heads 46 of said elements. Opposite, or right hand, movement of the actuator 40'-4I will swing the lever 5i! to the right and Acarry the connected end of the spring 55 with it,Y and thus Y throw the link 52 to the right so as to shift the valve elements 35 and 35a to the right to unseat the heads 45 thereof and move the other heads 46 of the two elements against their seats.

The spring 55 is under tension in either position of the actuator 40-4! and valve elements 35 and 35a and acts to hold the valve elements against their seats, and this `spring has to -be strained to move the actuator Aand valve elements away from either of their rest positions toward the opposite position. Therefore, the fluid pressure on the actuator 40g-4I required to effect the shifting of the valve elements from one to the other of theirY seated positions can be regulated by adjustingor varying the tension of the spring 55. For thisipurpose, oneend4 of the spring, as shown, passes through ahole in the pin 53 -connecting the link 52 and valve rods, and is attached to an anchoring screw 56 extending through and adjustable endwise in a screw threaded hole in the free end of the link 52. The tension of the spring 55 can be increased or decreased by appropriate adjustments of this screw, which may be secured in adjusted positions by a suitable lock nut 51. Bil-6I represent adjustable vstops for limiting the op posite movements of the actuator lill-4I. These stops, which may consist of screws endwise adjustable in threaded holes in the opposite ends of'thecasin-g 26, may be set so as to be engaged byone or theL other piston head of the actuator when the valve elements 35, a have been seated in one or the other of their two seated positions, and thus relieve the valve elements and actuating connections between the same and the actuator from undue pressure or strain.

Since cach of the actuator chambers 21 and 27a; is in free communication with its connected cell I3 or I4 of the pad, the pressure will be the. same in -each actuator chamber as in its connected pad cell. Therefore, since the tension o f spring determines the pressure required to shift the actuator' and valve elements, the maximum pressure which will be created in the pad cells can be determined as desired, with in the limit of the pressure supply source, by appropriate adjustment of the tension of the spring 55. The pressure fluid supply pipe 3'2 may be provided with a valve 62 of any suitable sort by means of which the volume of pressure fluid to the pad cells can be regulated to thereby control, as desired, the frequency of pulsations or iniiations and deiiations of the cells of the pad or applicator element by which the pulsating pressure is applied to the body. The lever 50 of the valve mechanism, as shown, has. an end projecting out of the casing 25 to enable manual shiftingof the valve elements if necessary for any reason. A valve or control 'mechanism constructed as a illustrated in the drawings and above described provides eiective means for producing uid pressure Apulsations for alternately expanding and contracting or iniiating and deating ad- 40 jacent cells of an applicator element and ex pandingorinlating one cell while contracting o rj deilecting an adjacent cell, but means of various other constructions could be employed for vproducing similar pulsating action alternately in adjacent cells of an air applicator element of the character described, and my invention is'not restricted to the particular means herein disclosed for the purpose.

When the applicator element Il) is intended to form the seat pad of a parachute pack to be strapped or secured to the person of the user, it is desirable to make the tubes or conduits 20, 2I that lead fro-m the fluid pressure supply or'control mechanism 25 to the seat pad, in sections connected by a quick-detachable coupling B5 which will enable quick and easy release of the seat pad from the uid pressure supply or control mechanism in case of emergency.

@The coupling A65 shown for this purpose, see Figi?, comprises separable sections 66, 61. One section-of each tube 20, 2l is suitably fastened securely; with a uid tight joint, as at 68, in one couplinglsection 66, and the other section of each tube 2l), 2 I, is similarly or suitably fastened, as at 69, to the other coupling section, and one coupling section may have nipples 'l0 adapted to be'releasably seated in sockets 1I in the other coupling section 61 with suitable joint-sealing gaskets 'I2 between the parting faces of the two coupling sections. The nipples and sockets have passages establishing communication between the two sections of each tube 20, 2|. A suitable spring actuated detent or round-nosed plunger 'I3 carried by one coupling section is adapted to spring into a rounded depression or seat in the l'. .Liny apparatus of the character descri-lcied-` comprising an element havingadjacent;Y duid.

pressure-confining cells adapted to. support a persons body, each of said cells having-a flexiblev top -Wa-ll,` means i or supplying fluid'v under pressureV to said cells, and valve mechanism'-admit*-v ting the pressure fluid toA one' cell While exhausts ing it from the adjacent cell thereby*l producing outL of phase fluid pressure pulsations in saidv adjacent cells, and including an actuator-sub ject tc the pressures in said cellsandoperableupon aV predetermined maximum pressure in either one-of said cells -to shift said valvemechanisrn ,toI exhaust pressure iluid from said-one4cell and admitV pressure fluid to the other cell.

2. A fatigue-relieving seat havinga freely flexibleA top wallon which a person may sit andimrnediately beneath said Walla plurality of` adjacent, closed supporting air cell-means disposed side by side in horizontal plan, and means for alternately increasing anddecreasing the press sules Ain the adjacent cell'means, whereby the pressures exerted by said seat may be .shiitedhetween one zone thereof and another,

3. A body supporting device comprisingan elastic element having adjacent fluid pressuresconning cells, each of said cellshavinghawfljexf ible wallfor applying,t pulsating surface pressure toa body when supported thereon, means for spp -A plyingv fluid undery pressure tosaid cells, valve mechanism admitting the pressure 'luidjo, one cell while exhausting itfrom the adjacentcell; and including an actuator subject to the'pires-V sures in said cells and ,operableupona predetere mined maximum pressurein eitherA onel ofjsaid cells to shift said valve mechanism toiexhaust pressure fluid from said one cell and admitpres; sure fluid to the other cell, and adjustable for controlling the shifting of said valve -mechanisrnso as to be responsive to diierent pressures within saidcell means.

4. ,A body supporting device comprising-n an elastic element 'havingv adjacent fluid. pressureconfining cells, each of said cells having aflexiblel wall for applying pulsating Y surface, pressure to a` body when supported thereon; mea-naior supplying fluid under pressure to said cells.shif t-I able valve means for admitting-the -pressureluid to saidvcells alternately and exhausting-,pressure fluid from one cell while admitting -pressureyuid to the other cell, spring means-opposingtheshifte ing, of said vvalve means, and meansgresponsive. to the yfluid pressures'in saidcells acting toshit said valverneans` in oppositionto said-,- spring means to exhaust pressure fluid from said one cell whileadmitting pressure uidto the.other cell, and means for adjusting the spring pressure exertedby saidspring means for varying the'lld pressures required in` said cells Vtoshift ,said valve means.

i formed-gofr'el-astic', air tight.:V material, said pad hayingfreely:l flexiblenresilient material such as spongefruhber coveringsaid cell means above, and`,and`exhaust conduits opening into said-f adjacent'. cell: means whereby the support Llpressuresmay be:A at leastpartly shifted from cell'means toV cellzmeansby alternately relieving and applying air pressure inV out-of-phase relation inzsad'i adjacent ycell vmeans to reciprocally shiftytheizonesof .pressures applied by said pad.

6:' A pad compri-sing a-relatively-broad'shallow sack` having partitions therein form-ing a plurality of adjacent fluid pressurevconninge cell means disposed side by side--inahorizontal plane, and said pad having freely-flexible resilient material such as sponge rubbencoveringsaid-sack above, said sacl: with the partitions and cell means thereof being formedlbya single integral body oi rubber-like material', and-conduits opening into said adjacentcell means whereby-the support pressures of thapadwnay be at least partly shifted reciprocallyirorncell means to cell means by alternately relieving and0 applying -uidpressure in out-ofphase-relation, in said adjacent cell means.

7': A cushion for supporting aperson thereon, -saidecushion including a plurality of laterally adjacentY luidpressureeconning elongated cell meanshaving flexible top walls formed of elastic uid-,tightf-material, meansr for selectively applyingl fluid'under pressure tosaid cell means and for-exhausting Viiuid therefrom including mechanisin admitting pressure fluidsto one cell means while, exhaustingV1 it from the next adjacent cell means'thereby producing reciprocal iluid pressurepulsations in 4adjacently disposed cell means, andaresilient pad formed of exible material such as'sponge rubberoverlying said cell means for, diffusing vthe pressure variation eiects thereotp.

8'; seat padhaving adjacent fluid pressurecillilrlngE cells, which haveilexible top walls and are substantially, U-shape in plan andarranged one Within the other, and means4 for alternately increasing and decreasing the pressures in the adjacent cellsthereloy` producing reciprocal fluid pressure pulsations in said cells.


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U.S. Classification601/150, 601/134, 251/285, 601/149, 251/75, 137/624.14
International ClassificationA61H23/04
Cooperative ClassificationA61H9/0078
European ClassificationA61H9/00P6