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Publication numberUS3389699 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJun 25, 1968
Filing dateApr 11, 1966
Priority dateApr 11, 1966
Also published asDE1566501B1
Publication numberUS 3389699 A, US 3389699A, US-A-3389699, US3389699 A, US3389699A
InventorsKenneth R Mathers
Original AssigneeNiagara Therapy Mfg Corp
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Roller massage assembly
US 3389699 A
Abstract  available in
Images(5)
Previous page
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

June 25, 1968 K. R. MATHERS ROLLER MASSAGE ASSEMBLY 5 Sheets-Sheet l Filed April ll, 1966 June 25, 1968 K. R. MATHERS "if' ROLLER MASSAGE ASSEMBLY Filed April ll, 1966 5 Sheets-Sheet 2, 1 6 ma INVENTOR. FIG 7 KENNETH R MATHERS vroRNEY June 25, 1968 K. R. MATHERS ROLLER MASSAGE ASSEMBLY 5 Sheets-Sheet 5 Filed April ll, 1966 INVENTOR. KENNETH R. MATHERS June Z5, 1968 K, R. MATHERS 3,389,699

ROLLER MAS SAGE ASSEMBLY Filed April 11, 1966 5 Sheets-Sheet 4 INVEA'TCIR.

KENNETH R. MA THERS fforneg June 25, 1968 K. R. MATHERS 3,389,699

ROLLER MASSAGE ASSEMBLY Filed April ll, 1966 5 Sheets-Sheet 5v lll,

wl lrllullvlll lo lo v INVENTOR.

KENNETH R. MATHERS Lui Byw d W A -rrarney United States Patent Oce 3,339,699 Patented June 25, 1968 3,389,699 ROLLER MASSAGE ASSEMBLY Kenneth R. Mathers, Fredonia, N.Y., assigner to Niagara Therapy Manufacturing Corporation, Adamsville, Pa., a corporation of Delaware Filed Apr. 11, 1966, Ser. No. 541,605 19 Claims. (Cl. 12S- 33) ABSTRACT F THE DISCLOSURE A therapeutic message assembly designed for association with a iieXible body supporting cushion and operative to apply therapeutic massage over a selected area and length of the flexible cushion supported body; the massage assembly embracing one or more rows of resilient massage applicators rotatably mounted in cantilever suspension on a resiliently flexible frame fixed to a vibratory motor suspension bar, the ends of the bar being attached to the midsections of a pair of arched springs whose terminal ends are secured to a rigid baseframe, and which cooperate to provide an applicator supporting carriage which is resiliently exible in vertical, longitudinal and transverse directions and operates to maintain the resilient applicators in uniform pressure contact with the undulating body supporting cushion; together with a carriage supporting tracking frame having means for adjustably securing the same to the cushion framework to thereby maintain `the applicators in rolling contact with the flexible body supporting cushion, the tracking frame also including spaced guide rails and associated means for slidably supporting the carriage baseframe for smooth reciprocating movement thereon.

Background of this invention The application of therapeutic massage to a substantial area of the human body, such as the persons back or a persons stomach and chest area or a persons side, has heretofore been accomplished when the body area to be massaged reclines against or is supported upon the resiliently cushioned framework of a bed, lounge, couch, massage table, or the cushion backrest of an upholstered chair, such as shown in U.S. Patent 2,937,641, In this massage system, the vibration generating motor is attached to the spring structure which supports the resilient cushion on which the body rests, and the motor generated vibrations transmitter to the spring structure are in turn terminated through the resilient cushion to the persons body reclining thereagainst.

Therapeutic massage has also been applied to a substantial area of a persons body through a resilient body supporting cushion which contains a vibration transmitting grid or core structure which is vibrated by a vibraton producing generator attached to one end of the core or grid as shown in U.S. Patent 3,019,785. In this system, the vibrations produced by the vibration generating motor is transmitted through the grid or core structure and resilient body supporting cushion, to the persons body reclininv thereagainst.

In the massage systems above described, the massage vibrations are not uniformly distributed and applied to all areas of the persons body supported upon the cushioned surface, due to the fact that the cushion supporting ing spring structure or grid vibrates with maximum intensity in the area immediately surrounding the point of attachment of the vbration producing generator to the spring structure or grid, with decreasing intensity of vibration transmission to the spring structure or grid as the distance from the point of attachment of the generator thereto increases. As a result, vibration transmission through the resilient cushion to the persons body reclining thereagainst, is most intense immediately over or adjacent to the point of attachment of the vibration producing generator, and graduallly decreases over other body areas more remote from the point of motor attachment.

Furthermore, uniformity in massage application to all areas of the persons body reclining against the cushion Isurface in the massage systems above referred to is not achieved, ldue to the irregular or undulating shape and form of different areas of the human body and the resultant irregularity with which body pressure is applied by undulating areas of the reclining body against corresponding areas of the cushioned surface, and which is not compensated for by these vibration transmitting systems.

Massage tables have also been suggested, whose cushioned body supporting surface present a medial slot or opening covered by only a thin membrane, and over which the body area to be massaged is positioned. In this system, stationary or traveling massage applicators project upwardly into the massage table slot and into Contact with the underface of the relatively thin membrane. Massage vibrations transmitted to the applicators are applied substantially directly to the body area through the relatively thin membrane, whose intended purpose is to reduce contact friction on the skin -of the patients body. Such massage tables usually require an attendant to control and adjust the massage applying mechanism, often produce skin burns on the patients body, are uncomfortable to the patient, and apply massage with irregular and varying intensity to the body area positioned over the membrane covered slot. In this system the lslot area is also necessarily limited, and only a limited area of the persons body can be massaged in one treatment, and requires the reclining person to shift position in order to place another body area over the massaging slot.

Mechanical massagers have recently been proposed for reciprocating travel within a cushioned framework such as a chair backrest or massage table, and intended to transmit massage vibrations through the resilient padding and to the persons body reclining thereagainst, as exemplified in the recently issued U.S. Patent 3,322,116. However, the reciprocating massager shown in this patent does not flexibly respond to body pressure applied to the massage applicators, and fails to transmit massage action of uniform intensity to the undulating parts of the persons body resting against the cushioned surface; and additionally, transmits undesired vibrations to the cushioned framework and the floor, produce undesired body jarring effects and noise during operation, and require frequent repair and attention in use.

Summary of this invention The therapeutic massage assembly made in accordance with this invention is designed to overcome the deficiencies of prior massage systems, and is operative `to generate and flexibly transmit through a resilient body supporting medium and to a persons body supported thereby, therapeutic massage of controlled and uniform intensity to all undulating areas of the human body reclining on and supported by the lresilient medium. This advanced massage assembly is designed for association with the resiliently cushioned framework of a bed, lounge, couch, massage table, or the cushioned backrest of an upholstered chair, and includes a series of parallel rows of resilient massage applicators which receive vibrations of uniform intensity transmitted from an electrically controlled vibration generator and transmits these Vibrations through the resilient body supporting cushion for uniform application to all areas of the irregularly shaped human body supported upon the resilient cushion.

The resilient massage applicators of this invention form component parts of a massage carriage contained Within the cushioned framework, and which is designed to apply and uniformly transmit their vibrations to the inner surface of and thence through the resilient cushionin-g, to the cushion supported body with uniform intensity. The massage assembly constructed in accordance with this invention, is also flexibly responsive to body pressure exerted against the applicators through the resilient cushion, irrespective of the undulating shape and form of the human body reclining thereagainst.

In accordance with this invention, the massage carriage is adjustably supported and mounted within the cushioned framework, and includes a pair of spaced and longitudinally extending arched springs whose terminal ends are iixed to and resiliently supported by a carriage baseframe. A suspension bar extends transversely between the arched springs, with the end portions of the bar secured to the crowned mid-sections of the arched springs. A pair of spaced and longitudinally extending and flexibly resilient applicator supporting members are rigidly secured at the mid portions thereof to the transverse suspension bar to which a vibration generating motor is rigidly but removably secured. The motor generated vibrations are thus substantially fully transmitted to the transverse suspension bar and thence to the flexibly resilient members. One or more transverse axles or shafts are positioned on both sides of the transverse suspension bar, with the end portions thereof tixed to and supported by the flexibly resilient members. A row of resilient massage applicators are supported by each axle or shaft, and are positioned directly adjacent to the inner liner of the resilient body supporting cushion. Means, adjustably connected to the framework of the cushioned body supporting frame, provide support for the baseframe of the carriage, and whereby the several rows of massage applicators may be adjustably brought into vibration transmitting contact with the inner liner of the resilient body supporting cushion.

The weight or pressure exerted by the occupants body against any area of the resilient cushion, causes the cushion liner to sag and apply a corresponding body pressure against the massage applicators in contact therewith, In accordance with this invention, the exertion of uneven body pressure against the massage applicators is transmitted to the tiexibly resilient members and arched supporting springs. The arched and ilexible supporting springs permit the longitudinal flexible members to flexibly tilt and adjust in response to body pressure transmitted to the resilient massage applicators, so that the several rows of massage applicators will exert uniform pressure against the inner liner of the resilient cushion. The paired longitudinal iiexible members which support the several rows of resilient massage applicators are also preferably made of spring steel, and subject to flexure when body pressure is transmitted thereto, and which thus function to further enhance the uniformity of contact pressure exerted by the several rows of resilient massage applicators against the exible liner of the resilient body supporting cushion.

While the massage carriage of this invention may be held in stationary position, so that the massage vibrations are uniformly transmitted to only a selected portion of a persons body reclining against the resilient cushion, a greater area of the persons body may be treated by the provision of means for reciprocating the carriage at a controlled speed along the entire length of a persons back or a persons stomach #and chest area or a persons side. The carriage supporting and reciprocating mechanism of this invention comprises a tracking frame adjustably connected to the cushioned framework and which slidably supports and guides the carriage base frame in its reciprocating movement. The tracking frame includes a pair of spaced and longitudinally extending guide tracks extending substantially parallel to each other and to the arch supporting springs of the massage carriage. The carriage baseframe includes a pair of longitudinally extending glider channels `which are telescopically supported by the complementary guide tracks. The glider channels forming a part of the carriage baseframe are provided with d. internal slider shoes which insure smooth, vibration free and substantially frictionless reciprocating movement of the carriage baseframe on the tracking frame.

Means are provided for automatically reciprocating the carriage baseframe and associated massage applicators on the stationary tracking frame, over a longitudinal stroking distance which insures massage coverage of the desired body area by the reciprocating massage applicators. The carriage reciprocating mechanism includes a variable speed motor and associated speed reduction gearing supported by the tracking frame and positioned at one end thereof. A drive belt or drive chain driven by the speed reducing gearing is trained around a drive sprocket and an idler sprocket supported by the tracking frame. The drive belt or drive chain supports a follower stud projecting therefrom which is operatively connected to the carriage baseframe.

Manually manipulated dials and switches are also provided in accordance with this invention, which are conveniently accessible to the person under massage treatment, and whereby all operating functions of the massage assembly can be controlled through electrical instrumentation. The control instrumentation is accessibly concealed from contact by the person under treatment, and includes an instrument for manually controlling the frequency and intensity of the vibrations produced by the vibration generating motor, an instrument for manually controlling the speed of the driving motor and corresponding speed of reciprocation of the massage carriage, and switch means for manually halting the reciprocating movement of the massage carriage at any desired location so that massage may be continuously applied for any desired period to the selected area of the human body undergoing massage treatment. In addition, manually controlled means are provided for regulating the degree of heat generated by a heat pad positioned within the resilient cushioning, and whereby controlled heat is transmitted to the persons body either alone or in conjunction with vibratory massage. In addition, a manually controlled timer is provided for regulating the period of both heat treatment and vibratory massage treatment, and the period of reciprocation of the massage carriage.

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

Brief description of the drawings Although the characteristic features of this invention will be particularly pointed out in the claims, the invention itself, and the manner in which it may be carried out, may be better understood by referring to the following description taken in connection with the accompanying drawings forming a part hereof, in which:

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of an upholstered chair whose adjustable backrest contains the therapeutic massage assembly constructed in accordance with this invention, and which is .operative to apply massage vibrations through the backrest cushioning and to a persons back reclining thereagainst, this view also showing manually adjustable means positioned along the inside face of one of the cushioned armrests for controlling the massage operation.

FIG. 2 is a perspective view of the upholstered chair as viewed from the rear thereof, this view showing the rear panel of the backrest and associated means for conveniently removing and replacing the panel to permit inspection and adjustment of the massager mechanism contained in the backrest framework, certain parts being broken away to also reveal certain electrical connections.

FIG. 3 is an enlarged perspective view of one of the side sections of the upholstered chair partly broken away to reveal the instruments contained therein for manually controlling the operation of the massage assembly and heat pad contained within the backrest, this view also showing a fragmentary lower portion of the backrest broken away to expose the junction box and power leads S extending to and from the junction box and control instruments.

FIG. 4 is a wiring diagram which diagrammatically illustrates the electric connections to the control instruments contained within a side section of the chair, and to the therapeutic heating pad, the vibration generating motor, and the massage carriage reciprocating motor contained within the upholstered backrest.

FIG. 5 is an enlarged rear elevational view of the backrest as the same would appear when the rear panel thereof has been removed, this View showing the backrest framework, the massage carriage and associated carriage supporting and reciprocating mechanism contained within the backrest framework, certain parts of the backrest upholstery being cut away to reveal structural details.

FIG. 6 is a longitudinal section of the backrest with the rear panel thereof removed, and as the same would appear when viewed along line 6 6 of FIG. 5.

FIG. 7 is a transverse section of the upholstered backrest as the same would appear when viewed along line 7 7 of FIG. 5, this view also showing further details of the massage carriage and associated carriage supporting and reciprocating mechanism.

FIG. 8 is a perspective illustration showing a fragmentary part of the backrest framework, and a rear view of the massage carriage and carriage supporting and reciprocating mechanism contained therein, and as the same would appear when viewed in the direction of the arrows 8 8 of FIG. 6.

FIG. 9 is a transverse section showing parts of the massage carriage and carriage supporting and guiding means as the same would appear when viewed along line 9 9 of FIG. 8.

FIG. 9A is an enlarged perspective view showing fragmentary details of one of the paired glider channels and associated slide shoes forming a part of the basefrarne of the massage carriage, in operative association with one of the carriage supporting guide rails, certain parts being broken away to reveal structural details.

FIG. 9B is a transverse section of the glider channel and the complementary slide shoes, in operative association with one of the carriage supporting guide rails, as the same appears when viewed along line 9B 9B of FIG.

FIG. l0 is an inside view showing fragmentary parts of the backrest framework, the massage carriage and associated carriage supporting and reciprocating mechanism, as the same would appear when viewed in the direction of the arrows 10-10 of FIG. 6.

FIG. l1 is a transverse section showing the massage carriage and associated carriage supporting and reciprocating mechanism as the same would appear when viewed along line 11-11 of FIG. l0.

FIG. l2 is a longitudinal section taken along line 12 12 of FIG. 8, showing further details of the massage carriage and carriage supporting and reciprocating mechanism; and

FIG. 13 is a longitudinal section as viewed in the direction of the arrows 13 13 of FIG. 10, and showing in greater detail certain parts of the massage carriage and a fragmentary part of one of the carriage supporting guide rails.

Similar reference characters refer to similar parts throughout the several views of the drawings and the specication.

The preferred embodiment Referring to the drawings, the therapeutic massage assembly of this invention generally includes a massage carriage 1 which resiliently supports a series of rows of resilient massage appiicators 2, which may be in the form of soft rubber balls or rollers of substantially circular cross-section. Each row of resilient massage applicators 2 are supported on a transverse shaft 4, whose terminal end portions 4 are fixed to and supported by a pair of spaced and longitudinally extending and resiliently flexible members 5 arranged in substantially parallel relationship. The longitudinal members 5 are secured at the mid-sections thereof to a transverse suspension lbar 7, with one or more rows of resilient massage applicators 2 positioned on opposite sides of the transverse suspension bar 7. The terminal end portions of the transverse suspension bar 7 are respectively secured to the mid-sections of arched springs 1f: extending longitudinally and substantially parallel to the paired longitudinal members 5 5 which support the resilient massage applicators 2. The terminal ends of the arched springs 10 are resiliently mounted and secured to a corresponding pair of longitudinally extending glider channels 16 forming a part of the carriage baseframe 15.

The massage carriage lis so mounted and constructed that the several rows of resilient massage applicators 2 will be positioned in adacent relation to the inner face of a tough and flexible liner sheet forming the inner layer of resilient upholstery padding whose outer face is encased within upholstery covering 128. When body pressure is exerted against the outer face of the upholstery covering 128, the flexible liner sheet 130 will sag into contact with the several rows of resilient massage applicators 2 of the massage carriage. The arched supporting springs 10 resiliently maintain the rows of resilient massage applicators 2 in pressure contact with the flexible liner sheet 130 when body pressure is exerted thereagainst through the resilient padding and upholstery covering. The arched supporting springs 10 also permit the longitudinally extending flexible members 5 5 to exibly tilt in response to body pressure transmitted to the resilient massage applicators 2, so that the several rows of massage applicators will exert uniform pressure against the inner liner sheet 130 of the upholstery. The paired longitudinal members 5 5 which support the several rows of resilient massage applicators 2, will also flex in response to body pressure, when made of one or more bands of spring steel, and which thereby function to enhance the uniformity of contact pressure exerted by the several rows of resilient massage applicators against the flexible liner sheet 13) of the upholstery. Y

The massage vibrations are transmitted to the resilient message applicators 2 by means of a vibration generating motor 20 whose outer casing is embraced by a split tubular sleeve 25 rigidly fixed to the transverse suspension bar 7. Readily accessible means -are provided for clamping the split sleeve in snug embracing relation to the motor casing, so that the vibrations generated by the vibratory motor 20 are fully transmitted from the motor to the split sleeve 25, to the transverse suspension bar 7, to the paired longitudinal spring members 5, and thence to the transverse shafts 4 and the rows of resilient massage applicators 2 supported by the respective shafts. The resilient massage applicators 2 in turn transmit their vibrations to the flexible liner sheet 130, resilient upholstery padding the upholstery covering 128, and thence to the persons tbody reclining thereagainst.

The massage carriage supporting and reciprocating mechanism generally comprises a tracking frame 40 adjustably supported within the cushioned framework, and which includes a pair of spaced and longitudinally extending guide tracks 41 extending substantially parallel to each other and to the arched supporting springs 1t) of the massage carriage. The longitudinally extending guide track 41 telescopically receives the glider channels 16 of the massage carriage and provide sliding support therefor. Reciprocating mechanism driven by a variable speed motor contained in motor housing S5 and associated reduction gearing contained in gear housing 56 is operatively connected to the massage carriage 1 through power transmitting means such as a drive chain 6l, and which function to reciprocate the massage carriage at a selected speed over a predetermined stroking distance.

The massage carriage and associated carriage supporting and reciprocating mechanism is designed for convenient installation within the body supporting framework of various forms of cushioned furniture, such as a massage table, couch, bed or the upholstered backrest of a reclining chair. For purposes of illustration, but not by way of limitation, the accompanying drawings show the massage assembly of this invention installed in the backrest framework of a reclining chair.

The upholstered massage chair 100, as typically illustrated in FIGS. 1, 2, 3, 5, 6 and 7, comprises side arm sections 101 and 102 having short supporting feet 103 designed to rest on the floor.` The sidearm sections 101 and 102 are connected by a seating framework which supports an upholstered cushion 104 which may be made removable, or as a permanent part of the seat structure. The sidearm sections 101 and 102 may also support an upholstered footrest 105 which may be manipulated by reclining mechanism which operates to swing the footrest into horizontal position, or into the downwardly extending position as shown in FIG. 1. The upholstered chair also has an upholstered backrest 110 swingably connected to the seat structure by reclining mechanism which is so designed that the backrest may be adjusted into any desired inclination from substantially vertical position to horizontal position by exerting a predetermined back pressure thereagainst. While the seat structure and reclining mechanism of the chair shown in FIGS. l and 2 of this invention may be generally similar to that shown in FIGS. 12-19 of the Oetinger Patent 2,937,641, the upholstered backrest of this invention has been structurally modified in certain respects to support, accommodate and cooperate with the massage assembly described herein.

The upholstered backrest, as shown in FIGS. 5, 6 and 7, contains an interior framework made of hardwood, which includes a pair of similar longitudinally extending and substantially parallel frame members 111 joined by an upper transverse frame member 112 and a lower transverse frame member 113. The longitudinally extending frame members 111 are generally shaped as shown in FIGS. and 6 and present lower extensions 111' projecting below the lower transverse frame member 113 to accommodate the reclining mechanism (not shown) attached thereto.

To supply artistic form to the upholstered backrest, a pair of secondary longitudinal frame members 114 are provided which are positioned exteriorally of and at an upwardly inclined angle with respect to the inner parallel frame members 111. The lower ends of the outer secondary frame members 114, are secured to the adjacent inner side frame members 111 by transverse spacer blocks 115 which serve to provide a flared hip formation at the sides of the upholstered backrest which extend over the upper rear ends of the seat side sections 101 and 102 as shown in FIGS. 1 and 2. The upper ends of the outer inclined side frame members 114 are joined by a transverse top frame member 116 which is vertically spaced from the upper transverse frame member 112. Upper spacer blocks 117 may also be inserted between the transverse top frame member 116 and the transverse upper frame member 112 positioned therebelow, to rigidity the headrest section of the backrest framework.

A strong but exible fabric 118 such as strong burlap fabric, is rmly secured along its longitudinal and transverse edges to the inner faces of the top and bottom transverse frame members 116 and 113, to the inner side frame members 111, and to the outer side frame members 114 and spacer blocks 115 and 117, as shown in FIG. 5, 6 and 7. The flexible fabric 118 forms the inner layer of the upholstery which encases the backrest framework. To reinforce the exible fabric 113, a transverse strip of upholstery webbing 119 extends between and secured to the upper spacer blocks 117 of the headrest. A corresponding lower transverse webbing trip 119 may also extend between and be secured to the inner parallel side frame members 111 directly above the lower transverse frame member 113 of the main backrest section as shown in FIG. 5.

That portion of the inner fabric 118 which forms a part of the headrest upholstery is supported by a transversely extending sinusoidal spring 120 formed of spring wire which is positioned between the transverse frame members 112 and 116, and whose ends are secured to the spacer blocks 117 as shown in FIGS. 5 and 6. A pair of longitudinally extending sinusoidal springs 121, positioned inwardly of and generally parallel to the adjacent inner side frame members 111, supply shape and form to the main backrest section and support the side portions of the inner fabric 118, as shown in FIGS. 5, 6 and 7. The upper and lower ends of the longitudinally extending sinusoidal springs 121 are secured to the upper and lower transverse frame members 112 and 113. It wiil be noted that no sinusoidal or other springs, and no transverse webbing, extend over the intermediate area of the main backrest section where the several rows of resilient massage applicators 2 are designed to travel.

A foam rubber strip 122 is wrapped around the outer surfaces of the lower spacer blocks 115, the outer inclined sideframe members 114, and the uppermost transverse frame member 116. The foam rubber strip 122 is encased within a strip of upholstery covering 123 rigidly secured to the frame members by upholstery tacks or other means as shown in FIGS. 5, 6 and 7.

To give bulging form to the headrest section, a deep or thick strip of fibrous wadding or iller 125 is applied over that portion of the inner supporting fabric 118 which extends between the transverse upper frame members 116 and 112 and the upper end portions of the outer inclined side frame members 114, as shown in FIG. 6. To give bulging form to the side portions of the main backrest section, deep longitudinal strips of fibrous wadding or filler 126 is also applied to the outer side portions of the supporting fabric 11S as shown in FIG. 7 and give the cushioned side portions of the main backrest section the bulged contour shown in FIG. 7.

The bulge forming headrest Wedding strip 125, and the bulge forming side wadding strips 126, and also the intermediate unpadded area of the supporting fabric 118, is covered by a slab of sponge rubber 127 which is approximately one inch thick. The upper end of the resilient slab 127 extends over and embraces the headrest wadding strip 125 and overlaps the top transverse frame member 116 as shown in FIG. 6. The sides of the resilient slab 127 extend over and embrace the side wadding strips 126 and overlap the outer inclined side frame members 114 and lower spacer blocks 11S as shown in FIG. 7. The resilient slab 127 also extends down to the lower transverse frame member 113 and overlaps the lower portions of the side frame members 111 extending below the spacer blocks 115, as indicated in FIGS. 6 and 7. As thus applied, the resilient slab 127 fully covers the transverse wadding strip 125, the side wadding strips 126, and also the intermediate area of the backrest extending between the upper and lower transverse frame members 112 and 113, where no wadding is applied. The sponge rubber slab 127 may be adhesively bonded at appropriate areas, but adhesive bonding of the sponge rubber slab is usually unnecessary, since it is maintained in its applied position by its friction surfaces and by the upholstery covering of the backrest.

The sponge rubber slab 127 is enclosed within upholstery covering 128 of any selected upholstery material, such as natural or artificial leather or upholstery fabric having any desired color and design in harmony with the upholstery strip 123 and the upholstery covering applied to the chair base. The lower transverse edge portion of the upholstery covering 128 is wrapped around and secured to the underface of the lower transverse frame member 113 as shown in FIGS. 5 and 6. The upper transverse edge portion of the upholstery covering 128, and the adjacent upper transverse edge portion of the upholstery strip 123, are inturned and secured together by stitching 128 as shown in FIG. 6. The side edge portions of the upholstery covering 128 are inturned and secured by stitching 128" to the corresponding inturned side edge portions of the upholstery strip 123- as shown in FiG. 7. The edge portions of the upholstery covering 128 and the upholstery strip 123 may be stitched together before application to the backrest framework, and when stitched together and applied to the backrest as above described, the sponge rubber slap 127, the fibrous filler strips 125 and 126, and the backrest frarne structure are enclosed thereby, and leaving only the lower end extension 111' of the backrest frame uncovered, as shown in FIGS. and 6.

Suitable tie buttons 129 as shown in FIGS. l, 6 and 7, may be used to secure the upholstery covering 128 to the inner fabric 118 and thus serve to maintain the upholstery covering relatively taut and wrinkle free, give shape and form to the upholstery, and maintain the sponge rubber slab 127 and the fibrous wadding strips 125 and 126 in fixed position.

To enhance the therapeutic treatment of the chair occupant and to enhance the therapeutic value of the massage assembly, a heat pad 131 may be positioned between the fabric coverin-g 128 and the sponge rubber slab 127 as shown in FIG. 6. The heat pad 131 is positioned intermediately between the side wadding strips 125, and may have any desired longitudinal length to apply soothing heat to the whole or the lower part of the back area of the chair occupant. It will be noted that the heat pad 131 is supported and insulated by the sponge rubber slab 127 so that heat `generated by the heat pad does not enter the interior of the backrest, and that its heat is reflected directly through the upholstery covering 128, with maximum heat transmission to the persons back. The heat pad 131 may be of standard construction, and contains loops of thermal wires whose temperature can be regulated by controlling the electrical current applied thereto. The loops of thermal wires are encased in suitable non-inflammable and heat transfering material, and fully enclosed within a sealed covering envelope.

To protect the inner fabric 11S forming a part of the backrest upholstery, from wear and excessive strain, a tough and exible liner sheet 130 composed of strong and durable material such as natural or artifiical leather, is secured by stitching 130 to the inner fabric 118. The flexible liner sheet 13G extends transversely between the sinusoidal springs 121 which extend longitudinally of the backrest section as shown in FIG. 5, and may have a longitudinal length extending from the top transverse frame member 116 to the lower transverse frame member 113 of the backrest framework as shown in FIG. 7.

The flexible liner sheet 130` provides a smooth inner surface with which the resilient massage applicators 2 are normally in contact, when the massage carriage is stationary or reciprocated. The upper and lower portions of the flexible liner sheet 130 and the inner fabric 118 which are beyond the reach of the reciprocating rows of massage applicators 2, are strengthened and reinforced by transversely extending textile upholstery webbing 119 and 119 as shown in FIG. 5 and heretot'or explained. However, it will be noted by referring to FIGS. 5 and 7, that the area of the exible liner sheet 13) which is traversed by the several rows of massage applicators 2, provides a smooth tracking surface therefor, free of transverse webbing, sinusoidal springs or other material which would produce undesirable irregularities in the tracking area of the liner sheet.

The rear face of the backrest may be covered by upholstery covering 132 whose inner face is reinforced by a rigid panel 133, -which may be made of plywood or chipboard as shown in FIG. 2. The panel 133 extends from the top transverse frame member 116 and downwardly over the inner longitudinal frame members 111, but terminates short of the lower transverse frame member 113 as shown in FIG. 2. The rear upholstery covering 132 and its associated reinforcing panel 133 may be removably secured to the inner longitudinal frame members 111 and the top transverse frame member 116 by removal screws 134 or similar means to provide complete access to the massage carriage and associated carriage supporting and reciprocating mechanism. The lower portion of the rear upholstery covering 131 which extends below the lower end of the reinforcing panel 132 overlaps and conceals the lower transverse frame member 113 as shown in FIG. 2.

The massage carriage 1 is supported by a tracking frame l0 which is adjustably secured to the longitudinal frame members 111 and the lower transverse frame member 113, as shown in FIGS. 5-13. The carriage supporting tracking frame comprises a pair of longitudinally extending guide rails i1 positioned in cooperative relation to the glider channels 16 of the massage carriage. The upper ends of the guide rails 41 are secured by screws or bolts 42 to a transversely extending pivot bar 43 presenting end legs 43 which are pivotally connected to the adjacent inner side frame members 111 by a pivot bolt 44 having friction reducing washers 44' telescoped thereover. The lower end portions of the guide rails 41 are connected by a transverse spacer bar 45 whose ends are secured to the respective guide rails as by screws 4S'. The upper transverse pivot bar 42 and the lower transverse spacer bar 45, together with the longitudinally extending guide rails d1, provide a rigid tracking frame for the massage carriage.

The lower end of the guide rails 41 are secured to the lower transverse frame member 113 of the upholstered framework by adjustable connecting plates 46 as shown in FGS. 5, 6, 10 and 12. Each of the adjustable plates 46 presents a fiat base section d6' which rests against the inside face of the lower transverse frame member 113, and is provided with an upwardly extending flange portion 46 to which the lower end of the guide rail 411-1 is rigidly secured. The base section 46 of the connecting plate t6 is adjustably secured to the lower transverse frame member 113 by a bolt 47 which extends through the frame member 113 and through a transverse slot 47' formed in the base section 46' of the connecting plate. An adjustable wing nut 47 is threaded to the projecting end of the securing bolt 47 and can be manually manipulated to permit the plate 46 and the lower end of the guide rail d1 to be shifted and fixed in any desired position. As thus constructed, the carriage supporting tracking frame 4t? and associated guide rails 41 may be swingably adjusted to place all of the rows of massage applicators 2 of the carriage in contact with the ftexible liner sheet 1311. When this is accomplished, the wing nuts 47 may be tightened to hold the carriage supporting tracking frame 4t) in the desired fixed position.

When the carriage supporting tracking frame requires adjustment, convenient access to the wing nuts 4'7" and guide rail connecting plates d6 may be attained by providing transverse slits in the lower portion of the rear upholstery covering 132, and which slits are positioned adjacent the wing nuts 1'7" and rail adjusting plates 4d. The slits may be closed by transversely sliding zippers d8 as shown in FIG. 2.

The mechanism for reciprocating the massage carriage includes a longitudinal guide channel Sti which extends from the transverse pivot bar d3 to the lower transverse spacer bar 45 of the tracking frame as shown in FIGS. 5, 7, 8, 9, l0, ll and 12. The longitudinal guide channel S0 may be formed from sheet metal and presents a web section Sti and parallel side leg sections 50 which'terminate in inturned flanges 511'. The spacer blocks 51 are positioned within the guide channel 50 at each end thereof to stiifen the side leg sections 51B" and maintain the same in true parallelism. The upper and lower ends of the longitudinally extending channel 50 are secured to the upper pivot bar 43 and the lower spacer bar 45 of the tracking frame as by bolts 52 which extend through the web section 50 of the guide channel 51D, through the spacer block 51 and through the respectively adjacent upper pivot bar 43 and lower spacer bar 45. A threaded nut 52 is applied to each bolt 52 which is conveniently accessible when the l i rear upholstery covering 132 and its associated reinforcing panel 133 is removed.

The guide channel t? may be located in any desirable convenient position between and in parallel relation to the parallel guide rails d1 of the tracking frame. In the construction shown in FIGS. 8 and 1G, the guide channel 50 is positioned off center, and more closely to one of the guide rails d1, for convenience purposes, but may also be positioned substantially medially between the parallel guide rails 41 by rearranging the position of the driving motor and associated speed reducing gear train.

In the construction shown in FIGS. S and 10, the lower end of the guide channel 5t) supports the driving motor which drives a speed reducing gear train. The driving motor is preferably of the variable speed type, and includes a cooling fan contained within a removable ventilated housing 55. The speed reducing train is contained within an adjacent gear housing 56 which is integral with or separately secured to the motor housing 55. "i'he gear train housing 56 is secured to the web section Sil' of the guide channel SG by attaching bolts 57 as shown in FIG. 12. The output shaft S8 of the speed reducing gear train extends through the web section of the guide channel 50. A driving sprocket 6h is contained within the guide channel S9 and is secured to the outer end of the drive shaft 5S. The sprocket 6ft is maintained in spaced relation to the web section Sil' of the guide channel 5@ by a spacing collar 59 formed from material such as Delrin or nylon having a low coecient of friction, and which does not frictionally impede the rotation of shaft 58 and sprocket 60.

A continuous drive chain 61 composed of a series of flexible links is trained around the drive sprocket 66, and its opposite looped end is trained around an idler sprocket 62 positioned within the guide channel Si) at approximately the longitudinal mid-section thereof. The idler sprocket 62 is journaled to freely rotate on a stub shaft 63 which is secured to the web section Sil of guide channel 59 as by a securing bolt 64. The idler sprocket 62 is maintained in spaced relation to the web section 50' of the guide channel S@ by a substantially frictionless spacing collar 65 formed from a plastic compound of low friction coetcient such as Delrin or nylon. The drive shaft 58 and idler shaft 63 are further braced and strengthened by a longitudinally extending spacer bar 66 as shown in FIGS. 8 and l2, whose opposite ends are provided with conforming holes which telescopically receive the terminal ends of the sprocket drive shaft 5d and the sprocket idler shaft 63.

To maintain the drive chain d1 relatively taut, a hard rubber roller 67 may be positioned between the spaced side legs of the drive chain 61 and intermediately between the drive sprocket 6d and idler sprocket 62 as shown in FIGS. 8 and 12. The spacer roller 67 contains a spacing sleeve 67' which receives an axle forming bolt 68 extending through the web section 5d' of the guide channel Sil and threaded into the mid-section of the adjacent spacer bar 66.

The driving connection between the drive chain 61 and massage carriage 1 comprises a motion transmitting channel 3i) which forms a part of the base frame 15 of the massage carriage, and which is positioned to telescope over the longitudinally extending guide channel Sti of the tracking frame. The motion transmitting channel 39 presents a web section 3G which overlies the inturned flanges Stl'" of the guide channel Sil, and a pair of spaced and parallel extending side leg sections 3G" which overlap the side leg sections Sti of the guide channel 50, and terminate in laterally dared securing danges 3W" which are secured by screws or welding to the transverse spacer bars 1S and 19 of the carriage baseframe 15 as shown in FIGS, 5 and 8.

The motion transmitting channel 3i?, which forms a part of the carriage baseframe i5, is designed to slidably telescope over the guide channel 5t) of the tracking frame.

To insure smooth, vibration free, and substantially frictionless telescopic movement of the motion transmitting channel 3) over the guide channel 5t), a series of four slider buttons 31 and 32 are positioned adjacent each end of the motion transmitting channel 30, each of which is formed from a plastic material having a low friction coeicient, such as Delrin or nylon. Two of the four slider buttons 31 at each end of the motion transmitting channel 3) are positioned between the web section 30 thereof and the inturned anges 56' of the guide channel 50 as shown in FIG. 9. Each of these buttons 31 is provided with flared stem forming legs 31 which are inserted through a conforming hole in the web section 30' of channel 30 and then flared to secure the buttons thereto. The second pair of friction reducing slider buttons 32 at each end of the motion transmitting channel 35 are positioned between the side leg sections 3G of the motion transmitting channel 30 and the adjacent side leg sections 5G of the guide channel St). Each of the buttons 32 presents stem forming legs 32 which are inserted through a conforming hole in the side leg section 30 and then Iiared outwardly to secure the buttons thereto. The four slide buttons 31 and 32, positioned at each end of the motion transmitting channel 39, insure smooth, vibration free and substantially friction free telescoping movement of the channel 30 over the guide channel 50 of the tracking frame.

One of the links 61' of the continuous drive chain 61 is provided with an upwardly projecting follower stud 33 which is xedly secured to the link 61' by suitable means, and may form a continuation of one of the hinge pins of the link 61. The upwardly projecting end portion of the follower stud 33 supports a freely rotating roller 34 formed from a material of low friction coefficient. The roller 34 and the follower stud 33 extending axially therethrough, projects through a transversely extending closed end slot 35 formed in the lower end of the web section 30' of the motion transmitting channel 30. The transverse close-end slot 35 presents a pair of spaced and transversely extending tracking flanges 35 as shown in FIGS. 8 and l2, which may be captured from the channel material when forming the transverse slot 35. As thus connected, the follower stud 33 and associated roller 34 engages the motion transmitting channel 30 of the massage carriage and operates to smoothly reciprocate the massage carriage in both directions for the full loop length of the continuous drive chain 61.

To insure smooth, vibration free, and substantially frictionless reciprocating movement of the massage carriage along the space guide rails 41, each guide rail 41 is generally T shaped in transverse section as shown in FIGS. 9A and 9B. Each guide rail 41 presents a relatively wide and thick body or stem section 41 and thinner laterally extending arrns 41". As thus shaped, the guide track t1 is strong and rigid when made from extruded aluminum. Each of the paired glider channels 16 forming a part of the carriage basefrarne 15, is shaped to telescope over and embrace the laterally extending arms 41" and the dat face of the associated guide track 41.

Each glider channel 16 presents a relatively flat web section 16 designed to telescope over the flat face of its associated guide rail 41, rounded side edge sections 16" designed to loosely embrace the outer side edges of the lateral arms 41" of the associated guide rail, and inturned ilanges 16 designed to loosely overlap the underface of the lateral arms 41", as shown in FIGS. 9A and 9B. Smooth, vibration free, and substantially frictionless telescoping movement of each glider channel 16 over its guide track 41 s insured by the provision of a pair of complementary slider shoes 17 positioned within but adjacent to each end of the glider channel 16 as shown more particularly in FIGS. 9A and 9B.

Each slider shoe 17 may be composed of a plastic material having a low coetl'icient of friction such as Delrm or nylon, and presents a rounded body section 17' and 13 resiliently ared leg sections 1'7" which embrace the outer edge and the opposite sides of the adjacent lateral arm 41" of the associated guide track 41' Each slider shoe 17 snugly lits within the pocket formed by the at web section 16', rounded edge section 16", .and inturned flange portion 16' of the slider channel. Each slide shoe 17 is maintained in fixed position within the glider channel 16 by a lug 17"' integral with and projecting laterally from the rounded body section 16' of the slide shoe, and which lug 17"' projects through a conforming hole formed in the rounded edge section 16" of the glider channel 16. The glider channel 16 and four slide shoes 17 assembled therein are telescoped over its associated guide rail 41 before the guide rail is secured to the transverse pivot bar 43 and/ or transverse spacer bar 45 of the tracking frame.

The parallel extending glider channels 16 are joined to the flared flanges 30" of the motion transmitting channel 30 by the upper transverse spacer bar 18, all component parts of the carriage baseframe 15. The ends of the spacer bar 1S are secured by screws or welds to the web section 16' ofthe parallel glider channels 1-6, and the midportion thereof extends transversely across the inner face of the channel 3G and is secured to the ilared flanges 30"' thereof, as shown in FIGS. 8 and 9. The mid-portion of the transverse -spacer bar 18 also extends across the rear face of the web section 50' of the guide channel 50 as shown in FIGS. and 1l.

To permit full reciprocating movement of the massage carriage 1 and associated massage applicators 2 between the transverse pivot bar 43 and lower spacer bar 45 of the tracking frame 40 as shown in FIG. 10, when the driving motor housing 55 and associated reduction gear housing 56 is located in the position shown in FIGS. 8 and l0, the lower spacer bar 19 is made shorter than the spacer bar 18. The ends of the shorter spacer bar 19 are secured to the web section 16' of one glider channel 16 and the adjacent ared ange 39"' of the motion transmitting channel 30 and does not overlap the web section 50 of the guide channel 50.

The opposite flange 30"' of the channel 30 is secured to the web section 16 of the adjacent glider channel 16 by a companion bar section 19' in transverse alignment with the opposite spacer bar 19. To strengthen the baseframe and reduce warping strain on the motion transmitting channel 30, a longitudinal strut 36 is secured by screws or bolts 36 to the adjacent flared ange 30" and to the bar section 19' and upper transverse bar 1S. The opposite flared an-ge 30"' of the channel 30 is reinforced by a companion strut 37 secured to the upper and lower transverse spacer bars 13 and 19 and to the associated flange 30" by screws or bolts 37', as shown in FIGS. 8, 9, 10, 11 and l2.

When the lower transverse spacer bar 19 and companion bar section 19' of 'the carriage baseframe are thus formed and secured, the motion transmitting channel will not warp, a rigid baseframe for the carriage is provided, and the driving motor housing 55, when located as shown in FIG. 10, can telescope between the adjacent glider channel 16 and longitudinal strut bar 36 on one side thereof, and the adjacent strut bar 37 on the other side thereof.; thereby permitting the massage carriage 1 and its associated massage applicators 2 to reciprocate closely to the transverse spacer bar 45 of the tracking frame.

Within the contemplation of this invention, the driving motor housing 55 and associated reduction gear housing 56 may be mounted on an end extension of the guide -channel 50 which projects below the lower transverse spacer bar 45 of the tracking frame and terminates directly adjacent the transverse frame member 113. In such arrangement, the longer sides of the motor housing 55 may extend parallel to and between the frame member 113 and transverse bar 4S, with the speed reducing gearing connected by a transmission belt to the drive shaft 5S of the drive sprocket 60. yIn this arrangement, the longitudinal guide channel 5t) and its end extension, may be centered between the guide tracks 41, with the motion transmitting channel .30 correspondingly centered between the yglider channels 16 of the massage carriage. In this case the lower spacer bar 19 of the carriage may be made similar to its companion upper spacer bar 18. In the above alternative arrangement which forms a part of this invention, the longitudinal bars 5 may beequally spaced with respect to the arched springs 10, and the rows of massage applicators 2 centered between the arched springs 10.

Each of the arched supporting springs 1d which form a part of the massage carriage, can be advantageously formed from spring Wire of sinusoidal shape, as shown in FIGS. l0, 11 and 13. Each of the terminal ends 10' of each sinusoidal spring 10 is secured to the adjacent end of lthe .glider channel 1-6 by a loop strap 11, Each loop strap 11 may be formed from a metal strip which is doubled over to provide a rolled portion 11' into which the terminal end 10' of the sinusoidal spring is inserted. The doubled over ap sections 11" of each loop strap are secured to the web section 16' of the glider channel as by a securing screw 12. To insulate the baseframe 15 of the carriage against stray vibrations which may be transmitted through the sinusoidal springs 10, a cushioning pad 13 of highly resilient rubber is positioned between the underface of each loop strap 11 and the web face 16 of the glider channel 16. As thus constructed, substantially no vibration produced by the vibration generating motor 20 is transmitted to baseframe 15 of the carriage or the frame structure of the backrest. As a result, substantially all the vibrational energy generated by `the vibratory motor Z0 is transmitted to the resilient massage applicators 2 for useful application to the persons body reclining against the upholstered backrest.

The vibration generating motor 20, as shown in FIGS. 8 and 13, is preferably a variable speed gyratory type motor having a predetermined mechanical unbalance, and generally includes a motor rotor 21 fixed to a tubular shaft 21' rotating within a stationary motor stator encased within a stationary cylindrical casing 22. The rotor shaft 21' is supported by a pair of self lubricating, self aligning and gyratory bearings mounted within the stator casing 22 in a manner to permit gyratory movement of the motor shaft with minimum wear on the moving parts. An air circulating fan 23 is ixed to each of the projecting ends of the tubular motor shaft 21', and an unbalancing weight 23' supported by a bolt 23" is secured to the fan hub. Suilicient unbalancing weights 23' may be` applied to each supporting bolt 23" to obtain the desired intensity of gyratory action.

The motor casing 22 is supported within a split tubular sleeve 25 by means of a pair of spaced resilient rings 24 which embrace the motor casing 22 and provide the sole support for the gyratory motor. The ends of the split tubular sleeve 25 are closed by end covers 29 having air circulation holes therein. The split tubular sleeve 25 has a attened portion as shown in FIG. 13 which is rigidly secured as by screws or welds 28 to the suspension bar '7. The split tubular sleeve presents spaced and laterally extending ange portions 26, connected by two or more clamp bolts 27 positioned diametrically opposite the transverse suspension bar 7. The clamp bolts 27 provide convenient and accessible means for rmly clamping the split tubular sleeve 25 in embracing relation to the resilient rubber rings which embrace the stationary motor casing 22, and also permit convenient removal and replacement of the gyratory motor for inspection and repair, when the clamp bolts 27 are removed and the split tubular sleeve is spread apart. The removable end covers 29 are frictionally held in position Within the ends of the tubular sleeve 25 when the clamp bolts 27 are tightened, and when the clamp bolts 27 are loosened the perforated end closing covers 29 can readily be removed.

The vibrations produced by the gyratory motor are transmitted through the resilient rubber rings 24 to the split tubular sleeve 25 which tightly embraces the same.

l The motor generated vibrations are transmitted to the tightened tubular sleeve 25 and directly to the transverse suspension bar 7, and thence to the spaced longitudinal and resiliently liexible members 5, transverse shafts 4 and resilient massage applicators 2 supported thereon.

The transverse suspension bar 7 may be shaped as shown in FIGS. 7, and 1l and presents an intermediate section 7 to which the flattened portion 25 of the motor supporting sleeve is firmly secured. The end sections 7 of the suspension bar 7 are joined to the intermediate section 7 thereof by depressed hip portions 7 so that the end sections 7" are properly positioned for attachment to the crown portion of the arched springs 1t?. A pair of washers 8 are positioned on opposite sides of one of the loop formations at the crowned mid-section of each arching sinusoidal spring. A bolt or rivet 9 extends through the paired washers 8 and intermediate loop formation, and secures the same to the adjacent end section 7" of the suspension bar 7. A sturdy connection is thus provided between the suspension bar 7 and the mid-section of the arched sinusoidal springs. To reduce vibration transmission into the sinusoidal springs either one or both washers 8 may be made of rubber or other resilient material.

The longitudinally extending bars 5 are secured at the mid-sections thereof to the intermediate section 7 of the suspension bar by bolts 6 as shown in FIG. 10. Each of the longitudinal members 5 are preferably formed from one or more straight and flat strips of spring steel, so that the half sections thereof will resiliently flex with respect to their mid-sections as rigidly secured by the bolts 6 to the intermediate section 7' of the transverse suspension bar 7.

The resilient massage applicators 2 are preferably made of medium soft rubber and generally circular in cross section, and may be cylindrical or spherical in form. The massage applicators 2 are preferably mounted to freely rotate on their respective transverse shafts 4. To assure free rotation, a tubular sleeve 3 formed of a material of low friction coefficient is telescoped over each transverse shaft 4 and extends between the paired longitudinal members 5, as shown in FIGS. 5, 6, l() and 13. Each tubular sleeve 3 extends through the diametrical center of a row or series of resilient massage applicators 2, with the several applicators free to individually rotate on the tubular sleeve 3. The tubular sleeve itself is also free to rotate on the transverse shaft 4 which telescopes therethrough. Alternatively, each tubular sleeve 3 may be cut into sections, with each section extending through the full diametrical center of an individual applicator, and whereby the individual sleeve sections and the individual applicator supported thereby may rotate as a unit on the transverse shaft 4, whose outer ends 4' are secured by screws or Welds to the paired longitudinally extending bars 5.

While only one massage applicator 2 may be rotatably mounted on each transverse shaft 4, preferably a row of applicators, comprising three, four or more applicators are rotatably mounted on each transverse shaft. While only three massage applicators are shown in FIGS. 5, 8 and l0 as mounted on each transverse` shaft 4, four or more spherical massage applicators may be mounted on each transverse shaft 4 by shifting the guide channel Si) of the tracking frame itl centrally between the guide tracks 41 thereof, and supporting the driving motor and gear train and their associated housings S5 and S5 on an end extension of the guide channel 5t) extending below the transverse spacer bar 45 of the tracking frame as heretofor explained. When the glide channel 50 is so arranged, a row of four massage applicators 2 may be centrally located between the parallel and longitudinally extending arched supporting springs 1t? of the massage carriage. The massage applicator balls or rollers 2 may be two to three inches in diameter, and the outermost applicators in each row may be made somewhat larger in diameter than the intermediate applicators. One, two or three rows of massage applicators may be positioned on each side of the transverse suspension bar 7 which supports the vibration generating motor 20, thereby providing a balanced massage carriage. Since each applicator is itself resilient, and since the arched supporting springs 10 and the longitudinal bars 5 which support the applicators are also exibly resilient, each and all of the applicators 2 are maintained in resilient contact with flexible liner 130 of the resilient body supporting padding, and are adjustably responsive to the pressure exerted by the persons body as transmitted through the resilient padding.

The wiring system for this improved massage assembly includes an alternating current power line 70 which leads to the vibration generating motor Ztl as Shown in FIGS. Z, 3, 4, 5 and 13, an alternating current power supply line 71 which leads into the motor housing 55 as shown in FIGS. 2, 3, 4, 5, l0, and l2, and an alternating current supply line 72 which leads to the head pad 131, as shown in FIGS. 1, 3, 4, 5 and 6. The alternating current supply lines 70, 71 and 72 extend into a junction box 73 as shown in FIGS. 2, 3 and 4, and into which the main power cable 74 also extends. The junction box 73 contains separable electrical couplings, as shown in FIGS. 3 and 4 for connecting the main power cable 74 to the power supply lines 7h, 71 and 72, and to the power leads which extend to the control instruments. The junction box 73 is closed by a removable cover, and may be supported upon a transverse frame member M5 which connects the lower rear portions of the side arm sections 101 and 102, and whose outer face is covered by an upholstery strip 197, as shown in FIGS. 2 and 3.

When the massage assembly of this invention is associated with an upholstered chair, the control instruments may be protectively contained within the side arm section 101 and supported by the framework structure contained therein. The side arm section 101 contains a vertical instrument supporting panel 7S having horizontal extending and vertically spaced upper and lower instrument supporting plates or shelves 76 and '77 secured thereto as shown in FIG. 3. An electrical time clock or timer 73 is mounted on the supporting panel 75 below the lower shelf 77, and is electrically connected to main power lines 74' which lead into the junction box 73 for detachable connection to the main power cable 74, as shown in FIGS. 3 and 4. The time clock 78 incorporates adjustable mechanism 7S which regulates the time period during which current is supplied to the vibration generating motor Ztl, driving motor contained in housing 55, and heat pad 131i. The period of power application is manually adjusted by a timer disc 79 connected by a detachable stern section 79 to the output shaft of the time clock 7S as indicated in FIGS. 3 and 4.

The rotative speed of the vibration generating motor 20 is adjusted by a speed control instrument or rheostat S0, as shown in FIGS. 3 and 4, which is connected by power leads Sil to the timer 7S and thence by power lines 70 to the junction box 73 and there detachably connected to the power supply line 76 which leads to the vibration generating motor 2t). The output shaft of the speed control instrument or rheostat 80 is attachably connected to the connecting stem 3i' of a manually adjustable dial disc 81, which can be manually manipulated to control the rotating speed of the motor 25B.

The rotative speed of the carriage reciprocating motor contained in tne motor housing 55 is also controlled by a speed control instrument or rheostat 82 positioned below the lower shelf 77 and whose power lead S2 is in circuit with the timer 78 and its opposite lead 7l' is in circuit with a stop-go switch and then extend to the junction box 73 where they are detachably connected to the power supply line 71 extending to the driving motor contained in motor housing 55 as shown in FIGS. 3 and 4. A speed control dial disc 83 positioned above the upper shelf plate 76 has a downwardly extending stem section S3' detachably connected to the output shaft of the speed control instrument 82.

A multi-stage heating pad switch 84 as shown in FIGS. 3 and 4, is mounted on the supporting panel 75 directly above the upper supporting plate 76, and is electrically connected by lead S4 to the timer 73 and thence by leads 72' extending to the junction box 73, where they are detachabiy connected to the power supply line 72 which leads to the heat pad 131. The thermal wires in the heat pad 131 are so constructed as to permit the generation of low, and high heat for transmission to the adjacent area of the human body reclining thereagainst, and accordingly the finger manipulated multi-stage switch 84 has low and high heat settings.

It is often desirable to hait the reciprocating movement of the massage carriage 1 at a particular location adjacent a selected area of the human body under treatment, and where vibratory massage can be concentrated for a predetermined period. The instrumentation accordingly includes a by-pass stop and go switch 85 positioned directly above the upper supporting plate 76 of the instrument assembly. The finger manipulated stop and go switch 85 is connected by lead 85 to the driving motor control instrument 82 and thence by leads to the junction box 73, and there detachably connected to the power line 71 which leads to the driving motor contained in the motor housing S5.

In the circuit arrangement above described, the manually adjusted setting of the time clock 78 controls the input of power to the vibration generating motor 20, to the driving motor contained in the housing 5:1', and to the heat pad 131, and at the end of the period set by the time clock the massage treatment and the heat treatment ceases. This safety factor is important where only a limited period of massage and heat treatment is prescribed or desired, and which automatically terminates without attention from the person under treatment. During the period set by the time clock, the massage treatment continues, but the intensity of the massage treatment can be separately controlled by manual adjustment of the dial disc 81, which controls the speed of rotation as well as the frequency and amplitude of vibration produced by the vibration generating motor 2G. During the period set by the time clock 78 the speed of travel of the massage carriage 1 may be independently controlled by the person under treatment, through an appropriate manual adjustment of the dial disc 82. Soothing and comfortable massage action, which best serves the comfort and treatment described, can be fully achieved, and can furthermore be concentrated at a particular area of the body for any desired period where concentrated massage treatment is particularly desired.

The various manually manipulated control discs 79, 81 and S3 and the multi-stage heat control switch 84 and the stop and go switch 85, are adequately exposed for manual manipulation through appropriate slots formed in an attractive control panel 86 which is mounted on the inside face of the side arm section 101 as shown in FIG. 1. As thus assembled, complete control of all massage operations are within convenient reach of the hand and vision of the person undergoing treatment, and without the aid of an attendant.

While certain novel features of this invention have been disclosed herein and pointed out in the claims, it will be understood that various omissions, substitutions, and changes may be made by those skilled in the art with-ont departing from the spirit of this invention.

What is claimed is:

1. A body -massaging carriage which includes; a carriage baseframe, a pair of arched springs arranged in su-bstantially parallel relation and extending longitudinally of the baseframe, means 4for securing the ends of the arched springs to the baseframe, a suspension bar extending transversely between and secured at the ends thereof to the 'crown portions of said arched springs, a vibration producing motor supported by said suspension bar and extending between said arched springs, a spring frame section presenting a transverse portion spaced from and extending substantially parallel to said suspension bar, and longitudinally extending and resiliently flexible side leg portions secured to said suspension -bar and flexibly supporting said transverse portion in resilient cantilever suspension, and a row of resilient massage applicators rotatably supported on the transverse portion of said spring frame section; said -arched springs and spring frame section forming an applicator supporting assembly which is resiliently flexible in vertical and longitudinal and transverse directions and resiliently responsive to the degree of pressure exerted on the resilient applicators.

2. A body massaging carriage -as defined in claim 1, wherein each of said arched supporting springs is cornposed of spring wire of sinusoidal form which is flexibly responsive to body pressure exerted against said resilient massage applicators.

3. A body massaging carri-age as defined in claim 1, wherein each of said resilient massage applicators are generally circular in cross section and present a tubular sleeve having a low coefficient of friction extending axially through the applicator, and wherein a plurality of said -applicator sleeves are independently journalled on the transverse portion of said spring frame section.

4. A body massaging carriage as defined in claim 1, wherein resilient pads are positioned between the terminal ends of said arched springs and said baseframe to thereby dampen vibration trans-mission to said baseframe.

5. A body massaging carriage as defined in claim 1, wherein the side leg portions of said spring frame section are resiliently flexible and the transverse portion thereof is in the form of -a sha-ft whose ends are supported by and rigidly connected to the free ends of said resil-iently flexible side leg portions.

6. A massage carriage as defined in claim 1, wherein said vibration producing Emotor is of the gyrat-ory type having a predetermined mechanical unbalance and is cradled in 4a spl-it tubular sleeve member which adjustably embraces the motor casing and is rigidly suspended from said transverse suspension bar.

7. A body massaging carriage which includes; a carriage baseframe, a pair of -arched springs arranged in substantially parallel relation and extending longitudinally of the baseframe, means for securing the ends of the arched springs to the baseframe, a suspension bar extending transversely between and secured at the ends thereof to the crown portions of said arched springs, a vibration producing motor supported -by said suspension bar and `extending between said arched springs, a spring frame presenting a pair of spaced and longitudinally extending side legs formed of resiliently flexible material and medially secured to said suspension bar, and transversely extending end legs positioned on opposite sides of said suspension bar and respectively supported by said side ylegs in resilient cantilever suspension, and a plurality or resilient massage applicators rotatably supported on each of the end legs of said spring frame; said arched springs and spring frame forming a supporting assembly for said applicators which is resiliently flexible in vertical and longi tudinal and transverse directions and resiliently responsive to the degree of pressure exerted on the resilient applicators.

8. A body massaging carriage -as defined in 'claim 7 and wherein said spring frame presents a plurality of transversely extending end legs arranged in parallel spaced relation on opposite sides of said suspension bar and are respectively supported by the resiliently flexible side legs of the spring frame in resilient cantilever suspension.

9. A body massaging carriage as defined in claim 7, wherein each of said resilient massage applicators are generally circular in cross section and present a tubular sleeve having a low coefficient of friction extending axially through the applicator, and wherein a plurality of said applicator sleeves Aare rotatably journalled on each transverse end leg of said spring frame.

10.` A reciprocable body massaging assembly which includes; a pair of spaced parallel guide rails, a carriage baseframe presenting ya pair of gl-ider channels telescoping over and slidably supported by said guide rails, la pair of arched springs extending longitudinally of and substantiallyk parallel to said glider channels, means for securing the terminal yends of the 4arched springs to said glider channels, a suspension bar extending transversely between and secured at the ends thereof to the crown portions of said arched springs, a vibration producing motor supported by said suspension bar and extending between said arched springs, an applicator supporting frame presenting a pair-of spaced side members medially secured to said suspension bar and extending substantially parallel to said arched springs, 'and a transverse member on each side of f said .suspension bar and supported by said side members in cantilever suspension, a plurality of resilient massage applicators rotatably supported on the respective transvers`e3members of said fra-me, and drive means for reciprocating said carriage baseframe along said guide tracks. f

lL-A reciprocable body massaging assembly as de- -ined in claim and wherein each of said parallel guide -rails'presents a pair of guide arms extending laterally from both sides thereof which are embraced by side portions presented by the glider channel which telescopes thereover'.

' 12.' A reciprocable lbody massaging assembly as defined in claim 10, wherein each of said parallel guide rai-ls present a pair of guide arms extending laterally from bothv4 sides thereof, and wherein slide shoes formed from a vlow :friction coefficient material embrace said guide arms and are supported by the glider channel which telescopes thereover.

13. A reciprocable body massaging assembly as defined in claim 10, wherein each of said parallel guide rails presents a pai-r of guide arms extending laterally from both -sides thereof, and wherein each of said glider channels presents a relatively flat web portion, rounded side edge portions and inturned flanges which deiine a pair of internal pockets therein which telescopically re* ceive the guide arms of the guide rail.

14. A reciprocable body massaging assembly as de- -inedrin claim 10 and wherein said glider channels are secured Itogether in spaced parallel relation by transverse spacer bars secured to the paired glider channels adjacent the ends thereof and which provides a rigid carriage baseframe.

15. A massage assembly for applying therapeutic masv sage to a persons body which includes; a body supporting frame structure, resilient body supporting padding extending over and supported by said frame structure, a pair of spaced parallel guide rails secured to and supported within said frame structure, and a massage carriage for transmitting therapeutic .massage through said resilient padding to the persons body supported thereon; said massage carriage including a baseframe supported by said lguide rails, a pair of arched springs arranged in substantially parallel relation and extending longitudinally of the baseframe, means -for securing the ends of the arched springs to the baseframe, a suspension bar extending transversely between and secured at the ends thereof to the crown portionsA of said arched springs, a vibration producing motor supported by said suspension bar and extending between said arched springs, a pair of spaced side members formed of spring material medially secured to said suspension bar and extending substantially paral- -lel to said arched springs, Iand transverse shaft forming members positioned on opposite sides of said suspension bar and respectively supported by said side members in resilient cantilever suspension, and a plurality of resilient mas-sage applicators rotatably supported on each of the said shaft forming members; said massage carriage being llexible in vertical and longitudinal and transverse directions and resiliently responsive to the degree of pressure exerted lon the 'resilient applicators by the resilient body supporting padding.

1-6. A massage assembly as defined in claim 1S, which includes, means for pivotally connecting the adjacent ends of said guide rails to said body supporting frame structure, and means for adjustably securing the opposite ends of said guide rails to said frame str-ucture.

17. A reciprocating massage assembly `for applying therapeutic massage to a persons 'body which includes; a body supporting frame structure, resilient Ibody supporting padding extending over and supported by said frame structure, Aa tracking frame presenting a pair of spaced parallel guide rails secured to and supported within said frame structure, and a massage carriage for transmitting therapeutic massage through said resilient padding to the persons body supported thereon; said massage carriage including a rigid baseframe presenting a pair of spaced glider members slidably supported by said guide rails, a pair of arched spr-ings arranged in substantially parallel relation and extending longitudinally of the baseframe, means for securing the ends of the larched springs to the glider members of the baseframe, a suspension bar extending transversely between and secured at the ends thereof t-o the crown portions of said arched springs, a vibration producing motor supported by said suspension bar and extending between said arched springs, a spring frame presenting la pair of spaced and longitudinally extending side legs formed of spring material and medially secured to said suspens-ion bar and transversely extending end legs positioned on opposite sides of said suspension bar and lrespectively supported by said side legs in resilient cantilever suspension, a row of resilient massage applicators rotatably supported by each of the end legs of said spring frame and, means for reciprocating said massage carriage `along said guide rail-s; said arched springs and spring frame forming a supporting assembly -for said applicators which is resiliently ilexible in vertical, longitudinal and transverse directions and resiliently Iresponsive to the degree of pressure exerted on the resilient applicators by the resilient body supporting padding 18. A massage assembly as defined in claim 17, and wherein said tracking frame lalso includes a pivot bar to which adjacent ends of said parallel guide tracks are secured, means for pivotally connecting adjacent ends of said transverse pivot bar to said lbody supporting frame structure, and means for adjustably securing the opposite ends of said guide rails to said frame structure.

19. A massage assembly as defined in claim 17 which includes, an inner liner formed of tough and flexible material secured to the inner surface of said padding, and means for reciprocating said massage carriage along said guide tracks 'With the massage applicators in rolling contact with said liner.

References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 3,003,497 10/1961 Nunes 12S-57 3,039,458 6/1962 Hill 12S-57 3,113,567 i12/1963 Russell 12S-33 3,322,116 5/1967 4Murphy et al. 128-33 L. W. TRAPP, Primary Examiner'.

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Classifications
U.S. Classification601/52, 601/116, 601/64, 601/99
International ClassificationA61H1/00, A61H15/00, A61H23/02, A61H37/00
Cooperative ClassificationA61H2023/0281, A61H2201/0228, A61H2201/0207, A61H2201/1669, A61H23/02, A61H15/0078, A61H2201/0149
European ClassificationA61H23/02, A61H15/00B