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Publication numberUS3019785 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateFeb 6, 1962
Filing dateMay 18, 1959
Priority dateMay 18, 1959
Publication numberUS 3019785 A, US 3019785A, US-A-3019785, US3019785 A, US3019785A
InventorsMurlyn J Eiden
Original AssigneeNiagara Therapy Mfg Corp
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Vibratory massage cushion
US 3019785 A
Abstract  available in
Images(5)
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Feb. 6, 1962 Filed May 18, 1959 M. J. ElDEN VIBRATORY MASSAGE CUSHION 5 Sheets-Sheet 1 v W* INVENTOR MURLYA/ x7.' /DFA/ Feb. 6, 1962 M. J. ElDl-:N

vIBRAToRY MASSAGE CUSHION 5 Sheets-Sheet 2 Filed May 18, 1959 m m M Feb. 6, 1962 M. J. EIDEN 3,019,785

VIBRATORY MASSAGE CUSHION 5 Sheets-Sheet 3 Filed May 18, 1959 fla Affen-ley Filed May 1'8, 1959 5 Sheets-Sheet 4 I INV ENTOR.

Feb. 6, 1962 M. J. EIDEN 3,019,785

VIBRATORY MASSAGE CUSHION Filed May 18, 1959 5 Sheets-Sheet 5 Affen/Hey Unite States This invention relates to therapeutic massage units and more particularly to a therapeutic massage unit which presents a relatively flat cushion section and a roll section, which together provide a p-ad, cushion, mattress or mattress pad designed to transmit deep and penerating massage action to a part or the entire human body reclining there-against.

The cushion section of the therapeutic massage unit constructed in accordance With this invention contains one or more motion transmitting members compactly sandwiched between a pair of highly lresilient cushioning slabs. The roll section contains one or more housing shells, each detachably connected to the adjacent end of one of the motion transmitting members, and is covered by a highly resilient and arcuately shaped cushioning slab in embracing relation thereto. Each housing shell is made from exible sheet material and presents a semitubular body portion designed to contain and support a gyratory motor assembly/"which can be removed through the outer end of the housing shell when the housing shell is partially detached from its motion transmitting member. The cushion section and roll section `are snugly contained within a snug iittting covering envelope having an openable slit through which convenient access may be had to'the wiring connections to the motor Iassemblies and to the'means for detachably securing each housing shell to its motion transmitting member so that'the motor assemblies can be quickly and easily removed and replaced in the field by unskilled labor.

The semi-tubular body portion of each housing shell presents a pair of flange portions extending laterally therefrom by means of which the housing shell may be detachably secured to one end of the motion transmitting member as contained in, the cushion section of the unit.

motion transmitting member and which may 'be readily'v manipulated from one side of the unit to effectuate expansion or contraction of the flexible tubular body portion ofthe housingshell. When the securing means are'.

manipulated to permit expansion of the tubular body portion of the housing shell, the motor `assembly contained therein may -be readily removed from one end thereof, and when the securing means are manipulated to contract the semi-tubular body portion of the housing shell snugly around 'theV body of the motor assembly, the motor assembly is thereby firmly held in supported position therein. The. outer end of each housing shell is closed by ya closure cup having air circulation holes in the end wall thereof and which is rigidly held in mounted position when the tubular body portion of the shell is contracted, and can -be readily removed when the semitubular body portion is expanded, by appropriate manipulation of the means which secure the housing shell to its motion transmitting member.

Each motor vassembly as removably contained within its housing shell comprises a variable speed gyratory motor which operates on either direct or alternating current and whose rotor shaft is supported by permanently lubricated and self-aligning 'bearings mounted in the end Walls of the stator casing. An air circulation fanis fixed to one or both projecting ends of the motor shaft. Motor unbalancing counter-weights are also xed to one or both ends of the rotor shaft, which produce a rotor unbalance atent O ioning slabs under slight compression and in firm motion, transmitting engagement with the motion transmitting- TheA 3,019,755 vPatented Feb. 6, 1962 "ice transmitting member or members as sandwiched between the resilient cushioning slabs of the cushion section, and

is positioned adjacent the flange portions of the housingl shell. The motor lead wires and the panel supported wiring circuit-are provided With complement-ary connector sockets and insert prongs which may be readily connected and disconnected to thereby permit convenient removal of the motor assembly or assemblies Ias contained within the roll section of the unit. The panel supported wiring circuit is connected to a power input cable which contains the ground wire and live Wires which supply the operating current to the stator and rotor windings of the motor assembly or assemblies.

This invention further features a covering envelope made from strong Iand non-stretchable material such as a textile, or natural or yartificial leather, or plastic covering material, which presents a sleeve forming leg portion, formed by a pair of facing panels connected along the side edges and one end edge thereof, and designed to be snugly drawn over the resilient cushioning slabs of the cushion section in la manner to maintain these cushmember or members sandwichedl therebetween. covering envelope also includes a hood portion which presents :an arcuate shaped panel which may be stitched to or formed integral with one of the facing panels or the sleeve portion. A pair of semi-circular end panels stitchedto the arcuate shaped panel and each having a circularv hole therein, are designed to partially cover the perforated end wall of the adjacent end closure cup of the roll section in a manner to permit free circulation of air thereof the hood portion thereof, to the free ledges of the -adjacent facing panely and side edge forming strips of the leg portion thereof'. By an opening manipulation ofthe slide fastener, an open slit is formed between the hood portion and leg-portion of the covering envelope, through which access may be readily had to theA means which detachably secure the housing shell or shells to their respective vibration transmitting members, and also to the wiring circuit at the adjacent end of the cushion section so that the connector sockets and complementary insert plugs may be conveniently connected and disconnected. The `above-described combination of features greatly facilitates the convenient removal of an inoperative or'defe-ctive motor and the insertion of an operativek replacement motor through the outer end of its housing shell. When the slide fastener is returned to closed position, the hood portion and leg portion are fully connected to provide a covering envelope which completely and snugly encloses the cushion section and roll section of the unit.

Where the therapeutic massage unit of this invention is to be made of sufcient length and width to fully support the entire length of, the reclining body, the cushion section desirably contains a pair of mot-ion transmitting ymembers which have a combined area which is preferably only slightly less than the area of the cushioning slabs between which the motion transmitting members are sandwiched. Each motion transmitting member may be formed as a lattice or grid composed of rela-tively thin `bands of spring steel or like resilient metal or pla-stic, and which includes a series of spaced longitudinally extending bands joined at the upper and lower ends thereof by transversely extending end bands. Where the therapeutic massage unit is made to provide a full length mattress or mattress pad, improved motion transmitting action over thefull length of the-mattress Vo1' mattress pad can best be attained by also connecting the longitudinally extending bands to a series of intermediate flexible bands which are inclined at an acute angle to the longitudinally extending bands.

Where two or more motion transmitting members or grids are provided, the adjacent side edges of the niembers or grids are preferably joined by flexible connecting straps which may lbe cut from a heavy belting material.v

Each motion transmitting member or grid is detachably connected to its own housing shell, and each housing shell contains a gyratory motor assembly. Thus, where two motion transmitting members are contained in the cushion section, the roll section contains a corresponding number of flexible housing shells, each containing a gyratory motor assembly. Where the therapeutic massage unit is formed of more limited length and width to support only fa .part of the human body reclining thereagainst, only a single motion transmitting member, a single housing shell and a single gyr-atory motor assembly me required.

Other objects and advantages of this invention will become apparent as the disclosure proceeds.

Although the characteristic features of this invention will be particularly pointed out in the claims, the invention itself, and the manner i-nwhich it may ybe made and used, may be better understood byA referring to the following description taken in connection with the accompanying drawings formingl a part hereof in which:

FIG. l is a plan view of a therapeutic massage unit made in accordance with this invention and comprising, a body supporting cushion section containing one or more motion transmitting members sandwiched between highly resilient cushioning slabs, and a roll section containing one or more gyratory motor assemblies each removably pocketed within a housing shell separably connectedl to one end of its motion transmitting member, certain parts ybeing broken away to illustrate structural details;

FIG. 2 is a fragmentary side elevational View of the therapeutic massage unit shown in FIG. l;

FIG. 3 is a fragmentary transverse section taken longitudinally of the therapeutic massage unit as the same would appear when viewed along line 3 3 of FIG. l;

FIG. 4 is a longitudinal section of the therapeutic massage unit as the same would appear when viewed along line 4 4 of FIG'. 3, this'view revealing structural details of two vibration transmitting members contained in the cushion section, and also showing the manner in which the gyratory motor containing housing shells are 4arranged and detachably secured to their respective motion transmitting members;

FIG. 5 isy a fragmentary longitudinal section of the therapeutic massage unit taken longitudinally of the roll section and showing a fragmentary part of the cushion section, this View revealing two gyratory motor assemblies las contained within and supported by their housing shells and the current supply circuits as separably connected to the motor lead wires;

FIG. 6 is a fragmentary perspective View of one of the expansible housing shells and the gyratory motor assembly removably positioned therein as viewed `along line 6 6 of FIG. 5, this view also showing a fragmentary part of one of the motion transmitting members and the associated means for detachably securing the same to the housing shell in exploded relation to the housing shell;

FIG. 7 is a transverse section o-f a fragmentary part of the roll section and cushion section of the unit and which reveals the manner in which the motor containing housing shell and motion transmitting member are secured together by the separable securing means;

FIG. 8 is a fragmentary plan view of the roll section and adjacent end of the cushion section, this view showing the manner in which the leg portion and hood portion of the covering envelope may be separated to provide a slit opening between the roll section and cushion section whereby access may lbe had to the wiring connections to the gyratory motors and to the means which detachably secure the motor containing lhousing shells to the motion transmitting members when the gyratory motor assembly is to be replaced;

FIG. 9 is a fragmentary transverse view of one end of the roll section and cushion section as the same would appear when viewed along line 9 9 of FIG. 4;

FIG. 10 is la fragmentary perspective view of the motion transmitting members, motor'containinfg housing shells and adjacent current supply circuits, with the end closure cups exploded `from the outer. ends of the housing shells, and which illustrates the manner in which the gyratory motor assemblies can be disconnected from the wiring circuits, the motor assembly removed from the housing shell, and a replacement motor assembly substituted;

FIG. 1l is another vfragmentary perspective View of the motion transmitting members, motor con-taining housing shells and adjacent current supply circuits, and which revealsmodifed means for securing and partially releasing the motor containing shell from'its motion transmitting member to permit removal and replacement of the gyratory motor assembly;

FIG. 12 isa fragmentary perspective view of the motor containing housing shell, the adjacent motion transmitting member, and the modified securing means for detachably connecting the. housing shell to` the motion transmitting member as shown in FIG. ll, and as the same would appear in exploded relation; and

FIG. 13 is a fragmentary transverse view of the roll section and cushion section which reveals the housing shell and the adjacent motion transmitting member as detachably connectedv together by the modified securing means shown in FIGS. ll and 12.

Similar reference characters referV to similar parts throughout the several views of the drawings -andspecication.

Thereapeutic massage units made in accordance with this invention present a relatively flat and resilient cushion section C' and a resilient and arcuate shaped roll section R at one end of the cushion section. The cushion section C may be made of any desired length and width to provide a massage mattress or mattress pad to support the entire length of the human Ibody reclining thereon, or the cushion section C may be made of lesser length and width to support only a par-t of the body seated or reclining thereagainst. VElliptical massage strokes are delivered to the body supporting surface of the cushion section C and roll section R by one or more gyratory motor assemblies 10a and/or 10b contained withinl the roll section and which are operatively connected to corresponding motion transmitting members 1a and/ or ib contained within the cushion section.

In cases where the therapeutic massage unit is to provide. massage coverage for only a part of the body reclining there-against, the cushion section C would have a length in the order of one and one-half to three` feet and a width in the order of one and one-half to two feet, in which case only fa single motion transmitting member la or 1bV need be ycontained within the cushion section C, and 4which would be powered by only a single gyratory motor assembly l0 contained within the roll section R. However, where the therapeutic massage unit is of a size transmitting members 1a and 1b, each of which is prefera-V bly separately powered by a corresponding gyratory motor assembly contained within the resilient roll section of the unit. Y

For purpose of illustration, the Aaccon-i-panying drawings reveal a therapeutic massage unit which provides a fulllength massage mattress or massage mattress pad in the order of six to seven feet in length, and -in the order of three feet to tive and one-half feet in width. with the cushion section C containing two motion transmitting members 1a and 1b which are respectively poweredby motor assemblies 16a and 10b respectively contained within semi-tubular and expansible housing shells 29u and 2Gb, detachably connected to the adjacent end of the respective motion transmit-ting members 1a and 1b contained in the cushion section.

Each of the motion transmitting members 1a and 1b may be formed from -a lattice work of relatively thin and iiexible spring steel bands formed by three or more longitudinally extending bands 2 which extend substantially the full length of the cushion section C, 'and which are joined by an upper transverse `band 3 and a lower transverse band 4 secured as by weldments to the terminal ends of the longitudinally extending bands 2 and extending substantially 4at right :angles thereto, as shown in FIG. 4. Where the cushion section C is made of mattress length, the longitudinally extending bands 2 are also preferably joined as Lb-y weldments to a plurality of intermediate transverse bands 5 which are inclined at an angle in the order of approximately forty-iive degrees to the longitudinal bands 2 to which .they are secured. It has been found that by so inclining the intermediate bands 5, more efiective motion transmission is achieved at the surface of the cushion section, particularly where the cushion section is of mattress length.

The longitudinal bands 2, upper and lower transverse bands 3 and 4, and the intermediate inclined bands 5, are preferably made of a highly resilient metal such as spring steel, with each band having a thickness of one ninety-sixth to one-sixteenth of an inch, and a width in the order of one-half to one inch. As thus constructed, each of the motion transmitting members or grids 1a and 1b is bendable and flexible in a direction normal to the plane thereof but is relatively inexible in a direction parallel to the plane thereof. It will be appreciated, however, that the motion transmitting members 1a and 1b can be formed as a lattice work composed of highly resilient and flexible bands made of plastic resins or other mate-l rials. The motion transmitting member or members 1a and/or 1b may also be made as a relatively thin layer of wax-impregnated textile belting, or from a relatively firm sheet of natural or synthetic rubber of the desired flexibility and motion transmitting characteristics.

Where two or more motion transmitting members 1a and 1b are employed as shown in FIG. 4, the adjacentl members are preferably joined by a series of spaced ilexible connecting straps 6 which may be formed from natural or synthetic rubber impregnated fabric or belting material, whose ends are attached as by securing screws 6 to the adjacent longitudinal bands 2, or to the adjacent side edges of the adjacent motion transmitting members. As thus connected, each of the motion transmitting members 1a and 1b may be independently vibrated, with the variable speed gyratory motors 1t) adjusted to operate at the same or different speeds, to thereby produce a number of different massage effects at the body supporting surface of the cushion section C and the roll section R, as attained by corresponding speed adjustments of the vari` able speed motors 10.

The motion transmitting member or' members 1a and/or 1b are compactly sandwiched between a pair of highly resilient cushioning slabs 7--7 positioned on opposite sides thereof and preferably adhesively bonded to the .motion transmitting members 1a and 1b and to each other. Each of the cushioning slabs 7-7 may be in the order of one to three inches in thickness, and is preferably made from foamed natural rubber latex or synthetic rubber having high resiliency characteristics and highly eompressible, but which will nevertheless immediately return to normal expanded condition when pressure is removed therefrom. The resilient cushioning slabs 7-7 are sized so that the upper ends 7 thereof will overlap the upper cross bands 3, with the lower end 7" thereof extending beyond the lower cross bands 44 for a distance of two to four inches, and with the side edges 7 thereof overlapping the outer side edges of the adjacent motion transmitting members 1a and 1b for a distance of one and one-half to three inches. The motion transmitting members 1a and 1b are thus fully contained within and sandwiched between the cushioning slabs 7--7, and ex tend over the major area thereof as indicated in FIG. 4.

Each of the gyratory motor assemblies 10a and/or 1Gb as contained within the roll section R of the therapeutic massage unit includes a Variable speed gyratory motor 10 having a speed range in the order of fteen hundred to thirty-six hundred rpm., and which is so constructed that the rotative speed thereof can be accurately controlled. Each gyratory motor ltl is contained within the tubular motor casing 11 whose end walls 12 are provided with Ventilating holes 12 as indicated in FlGS. 3, 6 and 12. Eachgyratory motor presents a motor shaft 13 `to which the motor rotor is ixedly secured and which rotates wi-thin a stationary motor stator contained within and supported by the motor casing 11. The motor shaft 13 is supported by a pair of self-aligning and permanently lubricated bearings which are mounted on the end walls 12 of the motor. i

A motor cooling fan 15 is positioned adjacent each end wall 12 of the motor and is fixed tothe projecting end of the rotor shaft 13 as indicated in FIGS. 3, 5, 6 and 12. Gyratory motion is produced =by securing unbalancing weights 16 to both projecting ends of the shaft 13. Each of these unbalancing weights 16 may comprise one or more discs or washers supported by a threaded screw 16 whose end is threaded into an attaching collar 16 fixed to the projecting end of the motor shaft. The unbalancing weights 16 are weighted and positioned to produce the desired gyratory motion characteristics, and the paired weight supporting screws 16' may be arranged to extend substantially in lthe same plane or at a radial angle to one another, in accordance with the desired gyratory motion to be produced. By the use of self-aligning bearings to support the motor shaft 13, and the use of unbalancing weights 16 of selected weight and arranged in substantially the same plane or at a radial angle to one another, operating in combination with the other elements and parts of the therapeutic massage units `as herein disclosed, accurately controlled elliptical massage strokes are produced at the body supporting surface of the cushion section C and :resilient roll section R which result in a massage action which is deeply penetrating and body relaxing in character.

The motor windings of thel gyratory motor assemblies 10a and 10b are respectively connected to a grounding lead wire 17a and 17h and a live lead wire 18a and 18h contained within a flexible conduit section 19a and 191; as shown in FGS. 5, l() and ll. The ground lead wires 17e and 17h and the live lead wires 18a and 18b are made relatively short and respectively terminate in insert prongs 17a and 17h and insert prongs 18a and lb' which are detachably connected to a wiring circuit supported on a relatively thin non-conducting panel 8 contained within the upper lend of the cushion section C.

The panel S on which the wiring circuit is seated, is

made from a relatively thin sheet of electrical insulating material'such as compressed bre and may extend transversely across all of the motion transmitting members la and 1b, as shown in FIGS. 5, l0 and ll, and may be from three to six inches in width, and is positioned to overlap one face of the upper cross bands 3 of all the motion transmitting members 1a and 1b.

Each of the gyratory motor assemblies 19a and ltb is respectively contained within a semi-tubular housing shell 29a' and 2Gb which is preferably made of flexible sheet. metal and presents an expansible semi-tubular body portion 21 in which the gyratory motor assembly is removably contained. Each expansible body portion 21 terminates in ange portions 22 extending laterally therefrom as shown in FIGS. 1G and 1.1. One of the flange portions 22 of each housing shell 20aand 2Gb is provided with a semi-tubular deformation 22' through which the motor lead conduit 19a or 19h may extend. Each of the gyratory motor assemblies lila and b is removably pocketed within the expansible semi-tubular body portion 21 of its housing shell and is preferably supported therein by the provision of a pair of resilient motor supporting elements or rings 23 which may be made of resilient nonconducting rubber and which embrace the tubular motor casing 11 of each gyratory motor 1li.' The relative diameters of the semi-tubular body portion 21 and motor supporting rings 23 are such that the supporting rings are snugly embraced by the semi-tubular portion 21 when the ange portions 22 thereof are drawn together.

Where two or more gyratory motor assemblies lia and 10b and associated housing shells 26a and 2Gb are ernployed, the adjacent ends of the semi-tubular body portions 21 are arranged in spaced relation and the intermediate space therebetween filled by a connecting tube 24 formed of sheet metal whose ends are designed to project into the adjacent ends of the tubular body portions 21 as shown in FIGS. 10 and 11. Each housing shell 20g and 2Gb has a longitudinal length which approximately corresponds to the width of the vibration transmitting member 1a and `1b to which it is detachably connected.

The outer ends of the semi-tubular body portions 21 of the housing shells a and 20h are closed by cup shaped end closures each presenting a tubular ange portion 25' and an end wall portion 25 having Ventilating holes 25"' therein. The tubular flange portion 25 of each cup shaped end closure 25 is designed to extend into the outer end of the semi-tubular body portion 21 of its associated housing shell and to be frictionally clamped in xed position therein when the flange portions 22 of its tubular shell are drawn together.

The llange portions 22 of each of the housing shells 20a and 20b aredesigned to be detachably Secured to the adjacent end of its associated motion transmitting member 1a or 1b as indicated more particularly in FIGS. 6, 7, l2 and 13. The securing means illustrated in FIGS. 6 and 7 comprise a series of spaced Tinnerman nuts 26, each designed to be telescoped over one of the llange portions 22 of its housing shell, with the screw receiving hole 26' therein placed in alignment with the corresponding aligned screw receiving holes 22" formed in the flange portions 22 of the housing shell. The upper transverse band 3 of each motion transmitting member 1a and 1b, and the non-conducting wiring circuit supporting panel S extending thereover, are also provided with a seriesof spaced screw receiving holes 3', each of whichis designed to receive a threaded screw 27 which is projected through the aligned holes 22 in the shell llange portions 22, as aligned with the corresponding holes 3 in the adjacent upper transverse band 3 of the motion transmitting member and the adjacent hole 26 in the Tinnerman nut 26.

The threads of each screw 27 are designed to engage the nut forming deformation 26" in one of the legs of the Tinnerman nut 26.v By a proper manipulation of the securing screw 27, the shell flange portions 22 may be drawn together to thereby contract the semi-tubular body portion 21 ofthe shell housing in snug embracing relation around the supporting rings 23 or the gyratory motor assembly therein, and which clamping action also draws the semi-tubular body portion 21 of the housing shell snugly around and in frictional contact with the tubular ange portion 25 of the end closure cup 25 to thereby removably retain the end closure cup in assembled relation. By removing the securing screws 27, the end closure cup 25 as well as the gyratory motor assembly can be readily removed through the outer end of the housing shell, since the ground lead wires 17a and 7b and the live lead wires 'Sa and 18h of the motor assemblies 10a and 10b are also readily detachable from the wiring circuit as hereinafter described.

The flange portions 22 of the motor supporting housing shells 2da and Zlib may also be secured to the upper ends of the motion transmitting members 1a and -Ib by alternate connecting means as indicated in FIGS. 10, ll and l2, and wherein the Tinnerman nuts 26 are telescoped over the upper transverse bands 3 of themotion transmitting members 1a and 1b and the associated non-conducting panel 8, with the screw receiving hole 26 of each Tinnerman nut in alignment with the corresponding receiving hole 3 in the upper transverse band 3 and nonconductor panel 8. In this arrangement, each securing screw 27 is iirst inserted through the screw hole 22 in only one of the shell ange portions 22, thence through the hole 26' in the Tinnerman nut 26, the hole 3 in the transverse band 3 and non-conductor panel 8, and the screw threads then turned into engagement with the ynut forming deformations 26 of the Tinnerman nut 26.

In this arrangement, it will be seen that one of the shell ilange portions 22 may be more or less permanently `secured to the motion transmitting member, thereby permitting removal and replacement of the end closure cup 25 and gyratory motor 'assembly when the companion llange portion 22 of the housing shell is released. When the motor assembly and closure cup are replaced, they can be held in Xed position by telescoping Ithe aligned holes 22" in the other shell Flange portion 22 over the projecting ends of the screws 27, and then applying a Wing nut 23 to each screw which can be manipulated to draw both flange portions 22 together to thereby clamp the end cups land gyratory motor assembly within the semitubular body section 21 of the housing shell.

The housing shells 20a and Zlb and connecting tube 24 are enclosed by a highly resilient `arcuate shaped slab 29 formed from foauned rubber latex or synthetic rubber and whose longitudinal edges 29 extend substantially in abutting relation to the flange portions 22 of the housing shells contained therein as shown in FIGS. 7 and 13. The outer arcuate ends 29 of the arcuate cushioning slab 29 extend to or slightly beyond the outer ends of the housing, shells 20a and 2Gb, as shown in FIG. 9. The arcuate cushioning slab 29 may be made in the order of one-half to one and one-half inches in thickness, `and provides a resilient support for the feet, neck or head which may rest thereon when the therapeutic massage unit is in use.

The wiring circuits for the gyratory motor assemblies 16a and 10b may comprise a common power input cable 30 as shown in FIGS. 1 and 5 which may extend through one of the end closure cups and into the adjacent end of the cushion section C. The power input cable 30` contains a common ground wire 31 and a main live wire for each of the gyratory motor assemblies. Two such live wires 32 and 33 being provided where two gyratory motors assemblies 10a and 10b are used. The` common ground wire 3ft terminates in a pair of connector` sockets 31a and 31b supported upon the non-conducting panel 8.A The Vconnector socket 31a Vis designed to detachably receive the terminal insert prong 17a of the ground lead wire 17a extending from the Vgyratory motor 10a. The companion connector socket 31b is designed to receive the insert prong 34 of a ground connecting wire 34 supported byy the non-coducting panel 8 and whose other end terminates in a connector socket 34b positioned adjacent the other motor assembly 10b. The insert prong 17h connected to the ground lead wire 171: extending from the motor assembly llb, is designed to be detachably inserted into the connector socket 34h,

The main live wire 32 which supplies live current to the motor assembly 10a terminates in a connector socket 32a designed to receive the insert prong 18a at the terminal end of the live lead wire 18a which extends from the motor assembly lila. The other main live wire 33, supported by the non-conducting panel S, terminates in a connector socket 33h designed to receive the insert prong lh connected to the live wire 13b which supplies current to the motor assembly 10b.

The double connector sockets 31a and Slb and assi ciated insert prongs l7a and 34 are insulated and protected by a tubular insulating sleeve 35a which may be slidably telescoped thereover as indicated in FlGS. 5, l0 and ll. The connector socket 34h and associated insert prongs 7b are also electrically insulated and protected by a tubular non-conducting sleeve 3517 which is slidable thereover. The connector socket 32a and associted insert prong 18a are insulated and protected by non-coiiducting slidable sleeve 36a, and the connector socket 33t) and associated insert prongs 1Sb are similarly protected by a non-conducting slidable sleeve 36h.

lt will thus be seen that the ground lead wires 17a and 18h and the live lead wires 13a and lb which supply the operating current to the gyratory motor assemblies 10a and 1917 may be readily and easily detachably connected to the power input circuit which is positioned directly adjacent the motor assemblies and readily accessible in the manner hereafter described. The power input cable 30 and the common ground wire 31 and the main live Wires 32 and 33 contained therein, are joined in circuit -to a speed control box 37 containing a speed control rlieostat or devices 37a or 37b for each of the gyratory motors lil, and each of which presents an exposed knob by which the motor speed may be manually adjusted. The motor speed control devices 37a and 37b in the control box 37 are supplied with current by a power cable 38 which terminates in a power source inserting plug 3S. The gyratory motor assemblies 10a and 10b are preferably designed to opera-te on either direct or `alternating current, with their rotative speeds sensitively adjustable by a corresponding manipulation of the speed control devices 37aand 37b.

The cushioning slabs 7-7 which form a part of the cushion section C and the arcuate cushioning slab 29 which forms a part of the roll section R, are fully enclosed within a covering envelope di) which presents a leg portion 40e and a hood portion 4dr. The leg portion 49C compactly encloses the cushio-ning slabs 7-7 and the motion transmitting member or members lla and 1b as sandwiched therebetween. The hood portion 4dr is designed to enclose and embrace the arcuate cushioning slab 29 to provide a finished covering therefor. The leg portion fille and hood portion 4dr may be formed of the same covering material such as attractively patterned heavy woven cloth, or natural or artificial upholstery leathers or plastic covering materials.

The leg portion elle Vof the covering envolep presents opposite facing panels tl stitched to a pair of side strips 42 and Aan end strip i3 to provide corner forming welts or bead formations 44. The leg portion dile of the covering envelope as thus formed, provides a covering sleeve which may be drawn over the bottom end 7 of the cushioning slabs 7-7 and is of sufficient length to extend to the longitudinal edges Z9 of the arcuate cushioning slab 29 at the other end of the cushionsection. The leg portion 46c of the covering envelope as thus formed is snugly fitted to slightly compress the cushioning slabs 7-7 and maintain the same in firm motion transmitting contact with the motion transmitting member or members la or llb as sandwiched therebetween.

The hood portion 4th' of the covering envelope 40 presents an arcuate shaped covering panel 45 which may be either sewn to or made integral with one of the facing panels 4l of the leg portion dilo and is 0f sufficient area to fully cover the arcuate cushioning slab 29 and extend over the ends 29 thereof. Each of the arcuate shaped ends of the arcuate covering panel 45 is sewn to the adjacent semi-circular edge of an end panel 46 to provide a semi-circular Welt or beading 47 at the ends of the roll section R. Each end covering panel 46 is provided with a circular hole therein which is defined by the inturned rim forming edges do of the end panel as shown in FIGS. 2 and 9. The hole as thus defined is of suiicient size to expose the Ventilating holes 25" in the adjacent end closure cup 25. It will be noted that the lower edge of the end covering panels do are square cut and in alignment with the longitudinal lower edge of the arcuate covering panel 11:5.

As shown in FIGS. '7, 9, and 13, the longitudinal lower edges of the arcuate covering panel 45 and end panels 46 are defined by double ply terminal aps 48 as formed by inturned edge portions 48 of the covering material. `Oneside 56 of a slide fastener tape Si) is stitched to the inner edge of the inturned portion 4S of the arcuate panel 45 and end panels 46, with the other side 50" of the slide fastener tape 50 secured to the adjacent upper edge of one of the facing panels 4l and adjacent upper ends of the side strips 42 of the leg portion 4Go of the covering envelope. The slide fastener tape thus extends from one of the facing panels 41, around the upper ends of the side strips 42 and across the upper end of the other facing panel 41 of the leg portion of the covering envelope, with their track sections connected by a fastener slide 5l.

As thus constructed, it will be noted that the hood portion 401' of the covering envelope provides a covering hide for the roll section which can be slipped over the arcuate cushioning slab 29 of the roll section when the leg portion elle of the covering envelope has been fully applied to thecushioning slabs 77 of the cushion section of the unit. By drawing the fastener slide 5l across the full length of the track forming sections 56 and 5d of the slide fastener tape Sil, the entire perimeter of the hood portion 4l);A can be fully secured to the upper perimeter of the leg portion elle, so that the covering envelope provides a complete covering for the unit. lt will also be noted that the double ply flap portions 43 extending from the lower longitudinal edges of the arcuate panel 45 and end panels 46 are of sufficient length to overlap the slide fastener tape Sil to fully cover the same, and so that the slide fastener tape 50 and its fastener slide 5l are substantially invisible when the unit is in use. However, these double ply flaps 48 may be bent over as shown in FIG. 8 to fully expose the fastener slide 51 for manipulation.

By manipulating the fastener slide 51 to open position, the lower longitudinal edges of the arcuate panel 45 and end panels 46 of the hood portion may be separated from the adjacent upper ends of the side strips 42 and one of the facing panels 41 of the leg portion 40e of the covering envelope, to thereby provide a slit opening as indicated in FIG.v 8 which exposes the up per end of the adjacent cushioning slab 7 of the cushion section C. The upper end portion of the adjacent cushioning slab '7 can then be lifted a sufficient extent to expose the heads of the securing screws 27 of the securing means shown in FIGS. 6 and 7 so that the flange portions 22 of the adjacent housing shell may be released; or to expose the wing nuts 23 of the alternate securing means shown in FIGS. l2 and 13 so that one of the flange portions 22 of the associated housing shell may be released.

When one or both flange portions 22 of the housing aclaran shell are released, the tubular portion 21 thereof 'will automatically expand to release the motor assembly and closure cup 25 supported thereby. The insert prongs 7a and lisa associated with the lead Wires ll'7a and i811 of the motor assembly 10a can then be separated from the connector sockets Sla and 32a of the wiring circuit to permit removal and replacement of the gyratory motor assembly 10a. Where the therapeutic massage unit is equipped with a second gyratory motor assembly slib, the open slit may be extended to render readily accessible the insert prongs 17h and lsb associated with the lead wires 17h and 181': of the motor assembly 10b for separation from the socket connectors Sib and 34h of the Wiring circuit andl thereby permit ready removal of the gyratory motor assembly lb. A fully operative motor 19a or lilb can then be replaced, the insert prongs and connector sockets reconnected, and the flange portions 22 of the housing shell 26a or Zilb re-secured to the upper ends of the motion transmitting member la or 1b.

The detachable means for securing the housing shells to their motion transmitting members, and for connecting and disconnecting the lead wires extending from the motor assemblies to the wiring circuit, and which are rendered readily accessible through the slit opening presented by the slide fastener positioned as above described, greatly facilitates the removal of defective gy'ratory motor assemblies and the replacement of new motor assemblies in a short period of time, and 'without skilled labor. The simple manner in which the gyratory motor assemblies may be removed and replaced, permits the replacement to be made in the field or at the home of the user, and without returning the entire therapeutic massage unit j to the factory.

It will be appreciated that therapeutic massage units may be constructed in accordance with this invention to provide a massage pad of limited size and designed to be applied to only a portion of the human body, in which case only one motion transmitting member would be contained in the cushion section, and only one gyratory motor assembly and one housing shell would be contained within the roll section, The principles of this invention, however, are applicable to the manufacture of mattress size massage pads designed to support the entire length of the body, and are particularly designed to be placed on the mattress of a full sized bed, with the roll section of the unit positioned either at the foot of the bed or at the head of the bed, as preferred by the user.

The motion transmitting system of this invention is designed to deliver elliptical massage strokes in a uniform manner to the entire body supporting surface of the cushion section and roll section of the unit. The massage motion produced at the body supporting surface of this unit is in the form of a relatively fiat ellipse 'whose longer motion stroke extends in the longitudinal plane of the unit, and whose modulating shorter motion stroke extends vertically to the body supporting surface of the unit, as further modulated by a transverse motion stroke extending substantially parallel to but transversely of the body supporting surface of the unit.

Therapeutic massage units constructed in accordance with this invention have -highly useful therapeutic effects in improving blood circulation through the muscles and joints. When the gyratory motors are adjusted to run at lower speeds in the order of fifteen to twenty-four rpm., the massage effect on the human body is relaxing in character and induces restful sleep. At higher speeds the massage action has an alerting effect on the body reclining thereagainst which is desirable in certain cases.

While certain novel features of this invention have been disclosed herein and are pointed out in the claims, it will be understood that various omissions, substitutions and changes may be made by those skilled in the art without departing from the spirit of this invention.

What is claimed is:

1. A therapeutic massage unit presentinT a relatively flat cushion section and a roll section at one end of said cushion section; said cushion section containing a vibration transmitting grid sandwiched between a pair of resilient cushioning slabs, said vibration transmission grid including a plurality of spaced longitudinally extending flexible meta-l bands joined at the ends thereof by transversely extending flexible metal bands and a series of spaced intermediate flexible metal bands inclined at an angle with respect to said end bands; said roll section containing a housing shell presenting a ilexible tubular body portion, a gyratory motor removably contained in the tubular body portion of said housing shell, means for securing the tubular body portion of said shell to one end of said vibration transmitting grid and for drawing the tubular body portion thereof around said gyratory motor to provide a support therefora resilient cushioning slab in surrounding relation to said tubular body portion; and a covering envelope snugly enclosing said cushion section and said roll section.

2. A therapeutic massage -unit presenting a relatively ilat cushion ysection and a roll section at one end of said cushion section; said cushion section including a plurality of vibration transmitting members positioned in side by side relation and sandwiched between a pair of resilient cushioning slabs, and a series of spaced flexible connector elements joining the adjacent side edges of adjacent vibration transmitting members; said roll section containing a housing shell for each of said vibration transmitting members, each of said housing shells presenting a flexible semitubular body portion and a pair of spaced longitudinally extending edge portions, a gyratory motor removably contained in the semi-tubular body portion of each of said housing shells= means for securing one longitudinal edge portion of each of said housing shells to the adjacent vibration transmitting member and means for detachably securing the other longitudinal edge portion to said first named longitudinal edge portion and for drawing the semi-tubular body portion thereof around the gyratory motor contained therein to provide a support therefor; and a covering envelope snugly enclosing said cushion section and roll section.

3. A therapeutic massage unit presenting a relatively ilat cushion section and a roll section at one end of said cushion section; said cushion section including a plurality of vibration transmitting grids sandwiched between a pair of resilient cushioning slabs, each of said vibration transmitting grids including a plurality of spaced longitudinally extending flexible metal bands joined at the ends thereof by transversely extending flexible metal bands and a series of spaced intermediate ilexible metal bands inclined at an angle with respect -to said end bands, and a series of spaced flexible connector elements joining the adjacent side edges of adjacent vibration transmitting grids; said roll section containing la housing shell for each of said vibration transmitting grids, each of said housing shells presenting a flexible tubular body portion terminating in laterally extending flange portions, a gyra- Itory motor removably contained in the tubular body portion of each of said housing shells, means for securing the `flange portions of each of said housing shells to the adjacent vibration transmitting grid andl for drawing the tubular body portion thereof around the gyratory motor contained therein to provide a support therefor; and a covering envelope snugly enclosing said cushion section and roll' section. y j 4. A therapeutic massage unit preesnting a relatively fiat cushion section and a roll section at one end of said cushion section; said cushion section including a plurality of vibration transmitting members positioned in side by side relation and sandwiched between a pair of resilient cushioning slabs, and a series of spaced flexible connector elements joining the adjacent side edges of adjacent vibration transmitting members; said roll section containing a housing shell -for each of said vibration transmitting members, each of said housing shells presenting a flexible semi-tubular body portion terminating in a pair of laterally extending flange portions, a gyratory motor removably contained in the semi-tubular body portion of each of said housing shells, a tubular member extending between the adjacent ends of the semi-tubular body portions of said housing shells, removable end closures for closing the outer ends of said semi-tubular body portions, means for securing one of said ange portions of each of said housing shells to the adjacent vibration transmitting member and means for detachably securing the other llange portion to said rst named flange portion and for drawing the semi-tubular body portion thereof around the gyratory motor contained therein to provide a suppor-t therefor; and a covering envelope snugly enclosing said cushion section and roll section.

5. A therapeutic massage unit presenting a relatively tlat cushion section and a roll section at one end ofl said cushion section; said cushion section including a plurality of vibration transmitting members positioned in side by side relation and sandwiched between a pair of resilient cushioning slabs; said roll section containing a housing shell for each of said vibration transmitting members, each of said housing shells presenting a flexible semitubular body portion terminating in a pair of laterally extending ilange portions, a gyratory motor removably contained in the semi-tubular body portion of each of said housing shells, means for securing one of the ange portions of each of said housing shells to the adjacent vibration transmitting member and means for detachably securing the companion flange portion to said rst named flange portion and for drawing the semi-tubular body portion thereof around the gyratory motor contained therein to provide a support therefor, and a covering envelope including a sleeve portion snugly enclosing said cushion section and a hood portion snugly enclosing said roll section, a slit opening adjacent said detachable flange securing means and positioned between said sleeve portion and hood portion providing convenient access to said detachable flange securing means which permits convenient removal and replacement of the gyratory motor from and to the flexible semi-tubular body portion of its housing shell, and a slide fastener for closing said openmg.

6. A therapeutic massage unit presenting a relatively at cushion section and a roll section at one end of said cushion section; said cushion section including a plurality of vibration transmitting grids sandwiched between a pair of resilient cushioning slabs, each of said vibration transmitting grids including a plurality of spaced longitudinally extending Vflexible metal bauds. joined at `the ends thereof by transversely extending flexible metal bands and a series of spaced intermediate ilexible metal bands inclined at an angle with respect to said'end bands, and a series of spaced flexible connector elements joining the adjacent side edges of adjacent vibration transmitting grids; said roll section containing a housing shell for each of said vibration transmitting grids, each of said housing shells presenting a flexible tubular body portion terminating in laterally extending flange portions, a gyratory motor removably contained in the tubular body portion of each of said housing shells, a tubular member extending between the adjacent ends of the tubular body portions of said housing shells, an end closure for closing the outer ends of said tubular body portions,- eacheof said end closures presenting an end wall having Ventilating holes therein, means for detachably securing the flange portions of each of said housing shells to the adjacent vibration transmitting grid and for drawing the tubular body portion thereof around the gyratory motor contained therein to provide a support therefor; aud a covering envelope including a sleeve portion snugly enclosing said cushion section and a hood portion snugly enclosing said roll section, a slit opening between said sleeve portion and hood portion providing access to said detachable 14 securing means, and a slide fastener for closing said opening.

7. A therapeutic massage unit presenting a relatively at cushion section and a roll section at one end of said cushion section; said cushion section containing a plurality of vibration transmitting members sandwiched between a pair of resilient cushioning slabs; said roll section containing a housing shell for each of said vibration transmitting members, each of said housing shells presenting a tlexible tubular body portion, a variable speed gyratory motor removably contained in the tubular body portion of each housing shell, means for detachably securing each housing shell to one end of its vibration transmitting member whereby the tubular body portion may be flexibly drawn into supporting relationship around the gyratory motor contained therein, and au arcuate cushioning slab in surrounding relation to the tubular body portions of said housing shells; a wiring circuit which includes lead wires extending from each of said gyratory motors through its supporting shell and designed to project into the adjacent end of the cushion section, current input wires extending through an outer end of one of said housing shells, separable terminal prongs and socket connectors associated with the terminal ends of said motor lead wires and said current input wires and pocketed within the adjacent end of said cushion section, and speed control means connected to said current input wires and positioned externally of said cushion section for independently controlling the rotative speed of said motors; and a covering envelope including a sleeve portion enclosing said cushion section and a hood portion enclosing said roll section, a slit opening between said sleeve portion and hood portion and positioned adjacent said detachable shell securing means and said terminal prongs and socket connectors and providing convenient access thereto and whereby said flexible tubular body portion of the housing shell may be expanded and contracted and said motor lead wires disconnected and reconnected to said wiring circuit in a manner to permit convenient removal and operative replacement o-f each of said gyratory motors from and into their respective housing shells, and a slide fastener for closing said opening.

S. A therapeutic massage unit presenting a relatively at cushion section and a roll section at one end of said cushion section; said cushion section containing a plurality of vibration transmitting grids positioned in side by side relation and sandwiched between a pair of resilient cushioning slabs, and means for exibly connecting said grids along adjacent side edges thereof; said roll section containing a housing shell for each of said vibration transmitting grids, each of said housing shells presenting a flexible tubular body portion terminating in a pair of laterally extending flange portions, a gyratory motor removably contained in the tubular body portion of each housing shell, means for securing one of the flange portions of each housing shell to one end of its vibration transmitting grid and means for detachably securing the other llange portion to said first named ange portion and for drawing said flange portions together whereby the tubular body portion provides a support for the gyratory motor contained therein, and an arcuate cushioning slab secured in surrounding relation to the tubular body portions of said housing shells; a wiring circuit which includes lead wires extending from'each of said gyratory motors through its supporting shell and designed to project into the adjacent end of the cushion section, current input wires extending through an outer end of one of said housing shells, separable terminal prongs and socket connectors associated with the terminal ends of said motor lead wires and said current input wires and pocketed within the adjacent end of said cushion section, and speed control means connected to said current input wires and positioned externally of said cushion section for independently controlling the rotative speed of said motors; and a covering envelope including a sleeve portion enclosing agotarse said cushion section and a hood portion enclosing said roll section, a slit opening positioned adjacent said detachable fiange securing means and between said sleeve portion and hood portion providing access to said detachable securing means, terminal prongs and socket connectors which permits convenient removal and operative replacement of the gyratory motors from and to the tubular body portion of their respective housing shells, and a slide fastener for closing said opening.

9. A therapeutic massage unit presenting a relatively flat cushion section and a roll section at one end of said cushion section; said cushion section containing a plurality of vibration transmitting grids positioned in side by side relation and sandwiched between Va pair of resilient cushioning slab means for exibly connecting said grids along the adjacent side edges thereof, and an'insulating panel positioned between said cushioning slabs and adjacent one end of said vibration transmitting grids; said roll section containing a housing shell for each of said motion transmitting grids, a tubular member extending between the adjacent ends of said housing shells, each of said housing shells presenting a flexible semi-tubular body portion terminating in a pair of laterally extending ange portions, a variable speed gyratory motor removably contained in the semi-tubular body portion of each housing shell, means for detachably securing the ange portions of each housing shell to one end of its vibration transmitting grid and for drawing said ange portions together whereby the tubular body portion thereof provides a support for the gyratory motor contained therein, and an arcuate cushioning slab in surrounding relation to said semi-tubular body portions and intermediate tubular member; a wiring circuit which includes lead wires extending from each of said gyratory motors through its housing shell and designed to project into the adjacent end of the cushion section, current input Wires extending through an outer end of one of said housing shells, separable terminal prongs and socket connectors associated with the terminal ends of said motor lead wires and said current input wires positioned on said insulating panel and pocketed within the adjacent end of said cushion section, and speed control means connected to said current input wires and positioned externally of said cushion assembly for independently controlling the rotated speed of each motor; and a covering envelope including a sleeve portion enclosing said cushion section anda hood portion enclosing said roll section, a slit opening between said sleeve portion and hood portion positioned adjacent said detachable vflange securing means and providing convenient access to said detachable ange securing means, terminal prongs and socket connectors which permits convenient removal and operative replacement of the gyratory motors from and to the tubular body portions of their respective housing shells.

References Cited in the tile of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS' 1,683,206 Pfeiier Sept. 4, 1928 2,774,952 Batcheller Dec. 18, 1956 2,800,897 Ross July 30, 1957 2,822,802- Leach Feb. ll, 1958 2,850,009 McElwee Sept. 2, 1958 2,852,020 Murphy Sept. 16, V1958

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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3580245 *Feb 3, 1969May 25, 1971Onnie R DillVibratory massaging device
US3653375 *Oct 30, 1970Apr 4, 1972Marvin J RaffelMassaging chair
US3896796 *Jul 26, 1973Jul 29, 1975Soderblom Daniel WBack vibrator and washer
US4022195 *Apr 14, 1976May 10, 1977Wahl Clipper CorporationCombined massage and spot heating device
US4052981 *Aug 3, 1976Oct 11, 1977Bachmann Robert JMassaging method and apparatus
US4681096 *Apr 4, 1986Jul 21, 1987Cuervo Armando AMethod and apparatus for therapeutic motion and sound treatment of infants
US4958627 *Jun 30, 1988Sep 25, 1990Park Ki DTherapeutic bed
US6196990 *Jul 24, 1996Mar 6, 2001Yehuda ZichermanVibrator appliance particularly useful for dialysis
US6228041 *Dec 22, 1998May 8, 2001Mark J. AmeerLightweight, portable, scalp-vibrating and hair growth stimulating device
US6438779 *Nov 10, 2000Aug 27, 2002Eric J. BrownKnee pillow
US7361152 *Sep 24, 2004Apr 22, 2008Matsuda Micronics CorporationCorrugated mattress vibrator longitudinally vibrated
US7615018Aug 18, 2003Nov 10, 2009Vibrant Medical LimitedLeg ulcer, lymphoedema and DVT vibratory treatment and device
US8398571May 2, 2008Mar 19, 2013Philip James EllinVibration pad cover and vibration treatment system
WO1989000412A1 *Jun 29, 1988Jan 26, 1989Sweet Dreems IncMethod and apparatus for therapeutic motion and sound treatment of infants
WO2002065973A1 *Feb 19, 2002Aug 29, 2002Ernest Peter NelsonLeg ulcer, lymphoedema and dvt vibratory treatment device
WO2003088889A1 *Apr 17, 2003Oct 30, 2003Niagara Therapy Mfg Aust Pty LSelf administered lymphatic massage
Classifications
U.S. Classification601/58, 601/70
International ClassificationA61H23/02, A61H1/00
Cooperative ClassificationA61H2023/0281, A61H2201/0142, A61H2023/0272, A61H2201/0138