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Publication numberUS3335717 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateAug 15, 1967
Filing dateMar 4, 1966
Priority dateMar 4, 1966
Publication numberUS 3335717 A, US 3335717A, US-A-3335717, US3335717 A, US3335717A
InventorsMonaco Anthony J
Original AssigneeMonaco Anthony J
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Variable intensity massaging device
US 3335717 A
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Aug. 15, 1967 A. 4. MONACO 3,335,717

VARIABLE INTENSITY MASSAGING DEVICE Filed March 4, 1966 INVENTOR ANTHONY J. MONACO AT TOR NEYS.

United States Patent 3,335,717 VARIABLE INTENSITY MASSAGING DEVICE Anthony J. Monaco, 8020 New Utrecht Ave., Brooklyn, N.Y. 11214 Filed Mar. 4, 1966, Ser. No. 531,831 7 Claims. (Cl. 12833) ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE A massaging device having control means for producing variable electrical signals for application to a vibration producing apparatus. The control means includes a plurality of potential reducing elements and switches which are selectively and periodically operable to serially connect different ones of the plurality of potential reducing elements between the input and output terminals of the device to produce variable intensity vibrations in the vibration producing apparatus.

This application is a continuation-impart of my copending application bearing Ser. No. 331,450, filed on Dec. 18, 1963, and now abandoned.

This invention relates generally to a massaging device for producing and applying vibrations to the human body and more particularly pertains to a massaging device which includes means for producing vibrations which periodically vary in intensity.

Various types of massaging devices have been proposed in the past to aid in the relief of muscular ailments such as arthritis and the like. Normally, these massaging devices include a pad or a similar element which is placed in contact with the area of the body which is to be treated.

The pad includes means which produce vibrations having a constant intensity and a relatively large amplitude, which, in effect, subjects the area which is to be treated to a massaging action. However, in practice it has been found that the body easily becomes fatigued when subjected to vibrations of a constant intensity and, accordingly, such devices can be employed only for relatively short periods of time. Additionally, the large amplitude of the vibrations produced by the devices further prevented their continuous use. Thus, the actual beneficial irelief afforded by such devices was severely limited.

Accordingly, the desideratum of the present invention is to provide a massaging device which produces vibrations which vary in intensity during a cycle of operation of the device.

Another object of the present invention is to provide a massaging device for the treatment of arthritis and the like wherein the maximum amplitude of the vibrations produced by the device may be selectively varied in an infinite number of steps.

Still another object and feature of the present invention resides in the novel details of construction which provides a massaging device which periodically causes abrupt transitions in the intensity of the vibrations produced during a cycle of operation thereby to avoid undue fatiguing of the areas of the body undergoing treatment.

In furtherance of the above objects, the massaging device of the present invention includes control means for producing electrical signals having a desired waveform. The signals produced thereby are applied to a transducer which converts the signals into mechanical vibrations, the characteristics of which are analogous to the waveform of the electric signals. The control means includes an autotransformer for controlling the amplitude of the signals applied to the transducer in an infinite number of steps. The control means further includes pulse producing means for periodically producing pulses having different amplitudes. The pulse producing means is selectively operable to vary the width of the pulses produced thereby in accordance with the desires of the user. Accordingly, by selectively adjusting the autotransformer and the pulse producing means, the operator may provide himself with a massaging device wherein the vibrations may be periodically varied, thereby to ameliorate his physical condition.

Thus, a feature of the massaging device of the present invention is the provision of control means which is selectively operable to periodically produce amplitude varying electrical signals which are analogous to the type of mechanical vibrations desired.

Other objects and advantages of the present invention will become more apparent from a consideration of the following detailed description when taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, in which:

FIG. 1 is a schematic circuit Wiring diagram, partially in diagrammatic form, illustrating the control portion of a massaging device constructed in accordance with the present invention;

FIG. 2 is a front elevational view of vibration producing apparatus adapted to be utilized in conjunction with the control device shown in FIG. 1, with parts broken away;

FIG. 3 is a side elevational view of the apparatus shown in FIG. 2;

FIG. 4 is a fragmentary view of a portion of the motor shown in FIGS. 2 and 3;

FIG. 5 is a rear elevational view of a modified vibration producing apparatus which is adapted to be used in conjunction with the circuit shown in FIG. 1;

FIG. 6 is a side elevational view of the apparatus shown in FIG. 5; and

FIG. 7 is an end elevational view of the apparatus shown in FIG. 5.

The massaging device of the present invention includes a control circuit, designated generally by the numeral 10 in FIG. 1, and a vibration producing apparatus,.designated generally by the numeral 12 in FIG. 2, which is adapted to be connected to the control circuit 10. The control circuit 10 is adapted to produce electrical signals, the amplitudes of which may be varied periodically between a plurality of different values in accordance with the desires of the user. The vibration producing apparatus essentially operates as a transducer which converts the amplitude varying signals into mechanical vibrations having characteristics analogous to those of the electrical signals. In practice, the circuit 10 is contained in a separate housing and it is connected to the apparatus by an appropriate cable thereby to apply the electrical signals generated in the control circuit to the apparatus.

More particularly, the control circuit 10 includes a pair of input terminals 14 and 16 which are adapted to be connected across a source of potential 18. One terminal of a two-terminal motor 20 is connected to the terminal 16 by a lead 24. The other terminal of the motor 20 is connected to a terminal of a timer mechanism or timer 26, through a single-pole single-throw switch and a fuse 28, by a lead 22. The other terminal of the timer mechanism 26 is connected to the input terminal 14 by a lead 32.

The timer mechanism 26 is of conventional construction and it is commercially available on the market. The timer 26 is operable to connect the lead 32 with the lead 22 for a preselected interval of time as determined by the timer setting thereby to apply the source of potential to the operative elements comprising the circuit 10. After the preselected time interval has expired, the timer mechanism 26 is operable to disconnect the lead 32 from the lead 22 thereby de-energizing the control circuit 10. The motor 20 is provided with a rotatable output shaft 34 Patented Aug. 15, 1967 which fixedly mounts three gears 36, 38 and 40 in spaced relation to each other. The purpose of the gears 36, 38 and 40 will become apparent from a consideration of the description hereinbelow.

A winding 42 of an autot-ransformer 44 is connected to a junction point 46 on the lead 22, located between the timer mechanism 26 and the fuse 28, and the lead 24. The autotransformer 44 includes a wiper arm 48 which is connected to one terminal 50 of a pair of output terminals 50-52, through a pulse producing mechanism designated generally by the numeral 54, by a lead 56. The output terminal 52 is connected to the junction point 46, through a fuse 58, by a lead 60. Thus, the potential appearing between the terminals 50, 52 may be varied by moving the wiper arm 48.

The pulse producing mechanism 54 includes an impedance bank 65 comprising impedances 62, 64 and 68. The impedance 62 is connected in series with the output terminal 50 and the wiper arm 48 by the lead 56.

The impedance 64 is adapted to be connected in parallel with the impedance 62 upon the closing of a normally open single-pole single-throw switch 66. Similiarly, the impedance 68 is adapted to be connected in parallel with the impedance 62 upon the closing of a normally open single-pole single-throw switch 70. While any voltage drop producing impedance may be used for the impedances 62, 64 and 68, it has been found in practice that ballast coils produce the best results.

The potential appearing between the output terminals 50, 52 is depending upon resistance or impedance of the impedance bank 65. That is, with the switches 66 and 70 open there will be a potential drop across the impedance 62 thereby reducing the potential appearing between the output terminals 50, 52. When either switch 66 or switch 70 is closed, the impedance 64 or 68 will be connected in parallel with the impedance 62 thereby decreasing the voltage drop thereacross. Thus, the potential appearing between the output terminals 50, 52 will be greater than when only the impedance 62 is connected in the circuit. Therefore, it will be obvious that when both of the switches 66 and 70 are closed, the potential appearing between the terminals 50 and 52 will be greater than if only one or two impedances are connected in the circuit.

Connected across the impedance bank 65 are a plurality of sets of contacts which are adapted to the actuated by the respective gears 36, 38 and 40 to short out the respective impedances comprising the bank 65. More particularly, positioned adjacent the gear 36 is a fixed contact 72 and a movable contact 74. Similarly, positioned adjacent the gear 38 .is a fixed contact 76' and a movable contact 78. Likewise, positioned adjacent to the gear 40 is a fixed contact 80 and a movable contact 82. The three sets of contacts are normally open. However, as noted below, the gear 36 is adapted to move the contact 74 into engagement with the contact 72; the gear 38 is adapted to move the movable contact 78 into engagement with the contact 76; and the gear 40 is adapted to move the contact 82 into engagement with the contact 80.

The respective movable contacts 74, 78 and 82 are connected together and to the lead 56, between the wiper arm 48 and the impedance bank 65 by a lead 84. The fixed contact 72 is connected to the output terminal 50,

through the lead 56 by a lead 86. The fixed contact 76 is connected to the lead 86, through a normally open single-pole single-throw switch 88, by a lead 90. Similarly, the fixed contact 80 is connected to the lead 86, through a normally open switch 92, by a lead 94.

It will now be apparent from a consideration of the control circuit thus far described that when the contact 74 engages the contact 72 the impedance bank 65 will be short-circuited through the leads 84 and 86. That is, the potential appearing at the wiper arm 48 is applied directly to the terminal 50. Thus, the potential appearing between the output terminals 50' and 52 will abruptly rise by an amount equal to the potential drop across the impedance bank 65. If the switch 88 is closed, then the impedance bank 65 will be short-circuited when the movable contact 78 engages the stationary contact 76 and, in addition, when the movable contact 74 engages the fixed or stationary contact 72. If the switch 92 is closed, similar comments apply when the movable contact 82 engages the stationary or fixed contact 80.

The respective gears 36, 38 and 40 are provided with teeth having different cam lengths so that each one of the respective gears will maintain the set of contacts associated with the particular gear closed for a different length of time, thereby to produce pulses of varying pulse widths at the output terminals 50 and 52. For example, as shown in FIG. 1, the gear 36 is provided with a plurality of radially extending teeth 96 over approximately one-half of its periphery. The cam length of each of the teeth 96 is equal and it is relatively small. As the motor shaft 34 rotates, the teeth 96 alternately and sequentially engage the movable contact 74 thereby urging the contact 74 into engagement with the contact 72 to short the impedance bank 65 in the manner noted above. Thus, for at least one-half of the rotation of the shaft 34 and, consequently, one-half of the rotation of the gear 36, the contacts 74 and 72 will close repetitively thereby to shortcircuit the impedance bank 65 and produce pulses of relatively short duration across the output terminals 50 and 52. However, for the other half of the rotation of the shaft 34, the gear 36 will not engage the contact 74 and the contacts 74 and 72 will remain in their normally open condition thereby maintaining the potential appearing across the terminals 50 and 52 substantially constant during this period. The waveform appearing between the output terminals 50 and 52 of the control circuit 10 will be reproduced periodically because of the continued rotation of the shaft 34.

On the other hand, the gear 38 is provided with two radially extending teeth 98 which extend over approximately one-half of the circumference of the gear. The cam length of the teeth 98 is substantially large. Accordingly, the contacts 78 and 76 will be maintained closed for relatively long periods of time when either of the teeth 98 engage the contact 78. Thus, if the switch 88 is closed the impedance bank 65 will be shorted out for greater intervals of time as compared with the interval that the bank is short-circuited due to the action of the teeth 98 on the gear 36. Thus, the pulses appearing between the output terminals 50 and 52 will be substantially greater in width than the pulses appearing between the output terminals due to the action of the gear 36. However, similarly to the gear 36, the gear 38 will likewise cause a signal to be produced which has a substantially constant amplitude during one-half of the rotation of the gear 38. It is to be noted that since the contacts 78 and 76 will be maintained in engagement for longer periods of time than will the contacts 74 and 72, the output signal appearing between the terminals 50 and 52 will accordingly be regulated by the gear 38 albeit both the sets of contacts 74, 72 and 78, 76 are connected in the circuit.

The gear 40 is actually a combination of the gears 36 and 38. That is, the gear 40 is provided with radially extending teeth 100 having a relatively small cam length and tooth 102 having a relatively large cam length. The teeth 100 and 102 extend over one half of the circumference of the gear 40. Accordingly, when the switch 92 is closed, the contact 82 will be moved into engagement with the stationary contact for relatively short and relatively long periods of time, depending upon whether the contact is engaged by the teeth or 102, thereby producing pulses across the output terminals 50 and 52 having relatively short and relatively long pulse widths for onehalf of the period of the waveform. The waveform will then have a substantially constant amplitude for the remainder of the period.

The maximum value of the potential appearing between the terminals 50 and 52 will be dependent upon the setting of the wiper arm 48 of the autotransformer 44. That is, when the wiper arm 48 is adjacent to the junction 46, the potential applied betweenthe leads 56 and 60 will be a minimum value. When the wiper arm 48 is located adjacent the other end of the winding 42, the potential applied between the leads 56 and 60 will be a maximum value. Accordingly, the autotransformer 44 provides a means for varying the output potential appearing across the terminals 50 and 52 between a minimum and maximum value in an infinite number of steps.

The vibration producing apparatus 12, as shown in FIGS. 2 and 3, comprises a pad 104 having a light weight metal sheet 106 applied to the rear surf-ace thereof in any 7 conventional manner. In practice, the pad 104 is fabricated from a polyurethane substance and the sheet 106 is made of aluminum. The sheet 106 mounts a bracket 108 which receives a motor 107 therein that is adapted to be connected to the terminals 50, 52 of the control circuit 10 by leads 109. Mounted on an output shaft 110 of the motor 107 is a fan 112 having a central hub 114. The shaft 110 is received through an appropriate bore in the central hub 114 and a radially extending set screw 116 (FIG. 4) is threadedly received in the central hub 114 and frictionally abuts the shaft 110 to securely mount the fan 112 thereon.

Normally, in vibration producing apparatuses of this type, the set screw 116 is weighted with large washersor similar devices to produce a sufficient eccentricity or counterweight force so that when the shaft rotates, a vibration will be set up which will be transmitted to the plate 106 and hence to the body of the user through the pad 104; it being understood that the pad 104 is to be placed against the area to be treated, such as the back of the person. However, in accordance with a feature of the present invention, the set screw 11 6 need be only a quarterinch screw to obtain the desired results of the present invention. That is, since the vibrations are not of a constant intensity but they are variable in accordance with the signals producedby the control circuit 10, the variation in the amplitude of the vibrations is sufiicient to produce the desired advantageous results without the need for large counterweight or large eccentric forces.

In operation, the terminals 14 and 16 are connected to a source of potential 18, as for example, a conventional house outlet. The motor 107 comprising a portion of the vibration producing apparatus 12 is connected across the output terminals 50 and 52 of the control circuit 10 by the aforenoted lead 109. The timer 26 is then set so that the control circuit 10 will operate for the desired interval of time.

Since the speed of the motor 107 in the vibration producing apparatus 12 is dependent upon the amplitude of the electrical signal applied to the motor, the wiper arm 48 may be adjusted relative to the winding 42 to obtain the desired maximum speed of the motor 107 and, therefore, the desired maximum amplitude of vibration of the vibration producing apparatus 12. In other words, the amplitude of the vibrations is dependent upon the number of times the shaft 110 rotates per unit time. The speed of rotation of the shaft 110 is dependent, in turn, upon the value of the potential applied to the driving motor 107. Thus, the autotransformer 44 essentially allows the operator to control the maximum intensity of the vibrations produced by the apparatus 12 in an infinite number of steps.

Initially it is assumed that the switch 30 is open and that the respective sets of contacts 72, 74; 76, 78; and 80, 82 are open, and further, that the switches 66 and 70 are open. Thus, the potential appearing between the output terminals 50 and 52 of the control circuit 10 will beconstant in amplitude and will be equal to the potential between the leads 60 and 56 minus the potential drop across the impedance 62. Hence, the vibration producing apparatus 12 will produce a vibration having a constant in- 6 tensity. Closure of the switch 30 energizes the motor 20 thereby to rotate the shaft 34. Accordingly, the contacts 72 and 74 will open and close as the gear 36 engages and releases the contact 74 in the manner noted above, thereby to repetitively short-circuit the impedance 62 to cause the potential appearing across the output terminals 50 and 52 to vary in amplitude for very short durations of time for at least one-half of the period of the waveform and to allow the signal to remain constant for the other half of the period of the waveform. If either or both of the switches 66 and 70 are closed, the amplitude of the signal appearing between the terminals 50 and 52 during those periods that the impedance bank 65 is not shortcircuited will be correspondingly greater.

Hence, the operator will be subjected to periodically reoccurring vibrations which vary in intensity in short bursts for one-half of the period and which remain constant in intensity for the other half of the period. When the switch 88 is closed, the intensity of the vibrations produced by the apparatus 12 will vary in two relatively long bursts for one-half the cycle and the intensity will remain constant for the remainder of the cycle. On the other hand, when the switch 92 is closed, the intensity of the vibrations will vary in alternate long and short bursts for one-half of the cycle or period of the waveform produced by the control circuit 10 and the intensity will remain substantially constant in amplitude for the other half of the cycle.

It will now be obvious that by selectively positioning the wiper arm 48 of the autotransformer 44 and by selectively connecting the impedances 64 and 68 into the circuit or by operating one of the switches 88 or 92, the operator may cause vibrations to be produced which vary in intensity between desired values and which reoccur periodically.

Accordingly, a massaging device has been provided which produces vibrations which periodically vary between a plurality of different intensities or amplitudes to prevent muscle fatigue.

A modified embodiment of a vibration producing apparatus is shown in FIGS. 5-7 and is designated generally by the numeral 118 therein. The apparatus 118 is adapted to be placed adjacent to the area of a patient who is to be treated, thereby to apply vibrations to the patient, albeit the patient is erect or supine. Accordingly, the apparatus 118 includes a pad 120 which is fabricated from polyurethane foam or a similar substance. As shown in FIG. 6, the pad 120 is provided with inturned ends so that the pad will extend around a. limb of'the user. Provided on the back of the pad 120 is a metal plate 124 fabricated from aluminum or the like, and which is spaced from the ends of the pad to define a marginal edge. The plate 124 tapers downwardly and inwardly so that the top surface of the plate is wider than the bottom surface thereof. The plate is provided with a top recess 126 and a bottom recess 128. It has been found that the recesses 126 and 128 provide a means for efiiciently inducing vibrations in the plate 124.

The plate 124 mounts a bracket 130 thereon. The bracket 130 includes a circular portion 132 and an integral extension 134. A plurality of screws or rivets 136 pass through the extension 134 and the plate 124 thereby to connect the bracket 130 with the plate. Received within the circular portion 132 of the bracket 130 is a motor (not shown) which mounts the fan 112 on the output shaft 110 thereof. Accordingly, when the motor 112 is connected to the control circuit 10 by the leads 109 and the unit is energized, the vibration producing apparatus 118 will massage the affected areas of the patient.

While preferred embodiments of the present invention have been shown and described herein it will be obvious that numerous omissions, changes and additions may be made in such embodiments without departing from the spirit and scope of the present invention.

I claim:

1. In a massaging device, control means for producing varying electrical signals for application to a vibration producing apparatus, said control means comprising a plurality of input terminals adapted to be connected to a source of potential, a plurality of output terminals adapted to be connected to the vibration producing apparatus, and potential varying means connected between said plurality of input and output terminals for periodically varying the potential between said plurality of output terminals between a plurality of different values, said potential varying means including selectively operable means for varying the potential applied to said plurality of output terminals in discrete steps, said selectively operable means including a plurality of potential reducing elements,

and switch means for serially connecting different preselected ones of said plurality of potential reducing means between one of said plurality of input terminals and one of said plurality of output terminals to reduce the potential applied to said plurality of output terminals.

2. In a massaging device as in claim 1,

and impedance means connected to said potential varying means for varying the potential applied to said potential varying means between a maximum and a minimum value in an infinite number of steps.

3. In a massaging device as in claim 1,

and vibration producing apparatus,

said vibration producing apparatus comprising a pad,

a metal plate on said pad,

a motor having an output shaft mounted on said plate,

a fan having a central hub,

a bore in said central hub receiving said shaft therethrough,

and a set screw extending radially through said bore to fixedly mount said fan on said shaft.

4. A massaging device according to claim 3,

wherein said pad is formed from a polyurethane foam and said plate is fabricated from aluminum.

5. In a massaging device, control means for producing varying electrical signals for application to a vibration producing apparatus, said control means comprising a plurality of input terminals adapted to be connected to a source of potential, a plurality of output terminals adapted to be connected to the vibration producing apparatus, and potential varying means connected between said plurality of input and output terminals for periodically varying the potential between said plurality of output terminals between a plurality of different values, said potential varying means including pulse producing means for periodically controlling the pulse width of the signals applied to said plurality of output terminals, said potential varying means further includes a plurality of potential reducing elements,

and means for serially connecting different preselected ones of said plurality of potential reducing elements between one of said plurality of input terminals and one of said plurality of output terminals to reduce the potential appearing across said plurality of output terminals, said pulse producing means including switch means for periodically connecting said one input terminal directly to said one output terminal for a preselected interval of time. 6. In a massaging device as in claim 5, in which said pulse producing means includes a motor having an output shaft, a plurality of gears mounted on said output shaft and rotatable therewith, said plurality of gears being adapted to actuate said switch means for different intervals of time to produce said varying pulses. 7. In a massaging device according to claim 6, and timer means connected between said plurality of input and output terminals for energizing said control means for different preselected intervals of time.

References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,822,804 2/1958 Leach 12833 2,893,380 8/1959 Walker et a1. 12333 X 2,902,993 9/1959 Wagner 12833 3,169,521 2/1965 McCaW 12833 X 3,309,083 3/1967 George et al 12833 X RICHARD A. GAUDET, Primary Examiner. L. W. TRAPP, Examiner.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2822804 *Mar 14, 1957Feb 11, 1958Leach MarkVibrating couch construction
US2893380 *Jun 29, 1956Jul 7, 1959Cecil Invest CompanyMassage and exercise machine
US2902993 *Feb 8, 1956Sep 8, 1959Carman J WagnerMassage device
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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3446204 *Jan 20, 1967May 27, 1969Frank M MurphyVibratory massager with traveling action
US3678923 *Jun 11, 1970Jul 25, 1972American Massage Sales And MfgPulsating vibratory massaging appliance
US4048684 *Dec 10, 1975Sep 20, 1977The Board Of Trustees Of Leland Stanford Junior UniversityInfant waterbed
US4088124 *Jan 17, 1977May 9, 1978The Board Of Trustees Of Leland Stanford Junior UniversityMethod for treating premature infants
US4232661 *Feb 8, 1978Nov 11, 1980Christensen Earl ABody massage apparatus
US7361152 *Sep 24, 2004Apr 22, 2008Matsuda Micronics CorporationCorrugated mattress vibrator longitudinally vibrated
USRE31603 *Nov 8, 1982Jun 19, 1984Andrew Electronics of Northern Calif., Inc.Body massage apparatus
EP2190398A1 *Apr 30, 2008Jun 2, 2010Vibrasys Pte. Ltd.Portable massage device
Classifications
U.S. Classification601/58
International ClassificationA61H23/02
Cooperative ClassificationA61H23/0263, A61H2201/5007
European ClassificationA61H23/02R2