US 3502328 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
March 24, 1970 H. o. HAMILTON 3,502,328
PUBOCOCCYGEUS MUSCLE EXERCISER Filed Nov. 30, 1966 H ECTOR HAMILTO N fl g 4 38 mm m 'ITORNEYS United States Patent M 3,502,328 PUBOCOCCYGEUS MUSCLE EXERCISER Hector 0. Hamilton, 1777 Ala Moaua Blvd., Apt. 1509, Honolulu, Hawaii 96815 Filed Nov. 30, 1966, Ser. No. 597,907 Int. Cl. A6311 23/00; A61h 21/00 US. Cl. 27280 12 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE A novel mechanism for exercising the per-ivaginal pubococcygeal muscle, and particularly to restore, improve and/or maintain the muscular tone of the pubococcygeal and related muscles by the users conscious exercising thereof against the resistance offered by spaced body portions of the mechanism. The exercising mechanism also includes means for selectively adjusting the spacing between the body portions to vary the resistance against which the muscle is exercised, and may preferably though not necessarily be provided with stop means and/or indicating means for respectively limiting the insertion of the mechanism into the body of the user and indicating the resistance of the mechanism to exercising forces.
The pubococcygel muscle forms a portion of the levator ani plate, and is actively related to the physiological functioning of the urinary, intestinal and vaginal canals. During coitus, for example, voluntary and/ or involuntary contractions of the vagina induced by pain, fear of pain, sexual excitment, etc, are caused in part by the constricting effect of the perivaginal pubococcygeus muscle, particularly at the outer portion of the middle third of the vagina where the constricting effect of this muscle is greatest. If the tone of the perivaginal pubococcygeal muscle deteriorates for any reason (childbirth e.g.) or is normally weak, the effectiveness of its related physiological functions similarly deteriorates, but as with other voluntary muscle of the human body, restoration of the contractile force of the perivaginal pubococcygeal muscle can be achieved through proper exercise.
Most women can voluntarily constrict or contract the puboccygeal muscles by pulling up or contracting the vaginal muscles in a manner akin to that employed in terminating urinary or excretory functions. However, the strength of the contractions varies considerably in different women and is generally lower or virtually absent in elder women or women who have borne children. In any case,- once aware of the importance of the contractile function of the perivaginal pubococcygeal muscle and its importance in attended physiological functions, it becomes increasingly important to enhance the effectiveness of this and related muscles, such as the bulbocavernosus muscle, through appropriate exercise.
In keeping with the above, it is a primary object of this invention to provide a novel mechanism for exercising the perivaginal pubococcygeal muscle, the mechanism including an elongated body having body portions adapted for movement toward and away from each other in a direction generally normal to the body axis, and means for adjustably spacing the body portions to vary the resistanceyoffered against the contraction of the perivaginal pubococcygeal muscle during the exercise thereof under virtually all physiological conditions.
A further object of this invention is to provide a novel exercising mechanism of the type heretofore described wherein the body portions are spaced from one another at only one end of the mechanism, and the opposite end of the body is of an immovable construction whereby the latter end may be employed for isometric exercises.
Still another object of this invention is to provide a 3,502,328 Patented Mar. 24, 1970 novel mechanism constructed in accordance with the foregoing and including means for limiting the degree of introduction of the exerciser into the body of an individual and/or means for indicating the resistance offered against exercising forces.
Yet another object of this invention is to provide a novel mechanism of the type heretofore described wherein the adjusting means includes a member mounted for sliding movement between the body portions parallel to the body axis for selectively increasing and decreasing the resistance of the mechanism by varying the spacing between the body portions.
With the above and other objects in view that will hereinafter appear, the nature of the invention will be more clearly understood by reference to the following detailed description, the appended claimed subject matter, and the several views illustrated in the accompanying drawing.
In the drawing:
FIGURE 1 is a side elevational view of the exercising mechanism of this invention, and illustrates the in-use position thereof.
FIGURE 2 is a top perspective view of the exercising mechanism, and illustrates a sliding member between a pair of generally spaced body portions for adjusting the spacing therebetween and ther-by selectively increasing or decreasing the resistance offered by the mechanism to forces generated during the exercising of the pubococcygeal muscles.
FIGURE 3 is an enlarged sectional view taken generally along line 3-3 of FIGURE 2, and more clearly illustrates components of the exercising mecham'sm.
FIGURE 4 is a sectional view taken generally along line 4-4 of FIGURE 3, and illustrates the sliding member sandwiched between and spacing the body portions of the mechanism.
FIGURE 5 is a perspective view of another exercising mechanism constructed in accordance with this invention, and illustrates means for indicating the relative spacing between body portions thereof.
FIGURE 6 is a fragmentary view of the mechanism of FIGURE 5 partially in cross section and partially in side elevation, and illustrates means coupled to the indicating means for selectively adjusting the spacing between the body portions.
FIGURE 7 is a top perspective view of another exercising mechanism of the invention, and illustrates a one piece body construction and stop means for limiting the introduction of either end portion of the mechanism into the body of the user.
A novel exercising mechanism constructed in accordance with this invention is fully illustrated in FIGURES 1 through 4 of the drawing, and is generally designated by the reference numeral 10. The mechanism 10 includes a body 11, adjusting means 12, means 13 coupling the adjusting means 12 to the body 11.
The body 11 of the exercising mechanism 10 is of a generally elongated construction and includes a pair of body portions 14, 15 maintained in spaced relationship bythe means 12 and an end 16 of the body 11, while at an opposite axial end 17 the body portions 14, 15 are secured to each other in contacting relationship by elastic or metallic bands 18, 20.
Each of the body portions 14, 15 is generally U-shaped in transverse cross-section to impart a generally cylindrical configuration to the body 11 which progressively tapers from the end 16 toward the end 17 both when the means 12 is positioned between the body portions 14, 15 as shown in FIGURES 1 through 4 or entirely removed from therebetween. A plurality of identically spaced cylindrical protubreances or sensors 21, 22 are carried by the respective body portions 14, 15, and are generally directed raidally outwardly normal to the longitudinal axis of the body 11. The protuberances 21, 22 are preferably imperforate except for the protuberances adjacent the end 17 which are apertured at 23, 24, respectively.
In an actual working embodiment of the exercising mechanism 10, the body portions 14, 15 are each formed of a single piece of molded plastic material measuring approximately seven inches in length, and having radii of and & at the end 16, 17, respectively.
The adjusting mechanism 12 is a relatively flat member of rubber or plastic material having a plurality of upwardly directed longitudinally extending ribs (unnumbered) defining grooves 25 through 28 at an upper portion thereof as viewed in FIGURE 4, while a lower portion of the member 12 is provided with a longitudinally extending relatively wide rib 30. Edges of the body portion 14 are confined within the respective grooves 25, 27 while the rib 30 is straddled by the lower body portion 15, as is best illustrated in FIGURE 4 of the drawing. In this manner the member 12 is prevented from accidentally dislodging from its sandwiched relationship between the body portions 14, 15 and the edges of the latter cooperate with the grooves 25 and 27 and the rib 30 to define slide means for sliding the member 12 along the axis of the body 11 to selectively vary the spacing between the body portions 14, 15 and thereby adjust the resistance offered against exercising forces as well as altering the overall peripheral size of the body 11.
The means 13 is a strand of plastic or similar flexible material which passes through an aperture (unnumbered) in the adjusting means 12 and in the apertures 23, 24 of the body portions 14, 15, respectively. The ends (unnumbered) of the member 13 are knotted or similarly secured together, as is clearly illustrated in FIGURE 3 of the drawing. In this manner the three components 11 through 13 of the mechanism are maintained in assembled relationship.
As was heretofore noted, the function of the exerciser 10 is to strengthen the perivaginal pubococcygeal muscle by enabling a user to become familar with the contracting function of this muscle, and through conscious exercising against the resistance of the mechanism 10, to restore, improve and maintain musclar tone in the perivaginal pubococcygeal muscle and related muscles, such as the bulbocavernosus muscle, which consciously or unconsciously become involved in the exercises. The mechanism 10 is preferably first pre-set before insertion by positioning the member 12 adjacent the end portion 17 and manually squeezing closed the body portions 14, 15 at the end 16. The end 16 is then inserted in the manner illustrated in FIGURE 1 of the drawing, and upon the release of the body portions 14, 15 the latter expand to the pre-set size and the pre-set resistance to contraction. The normal limit of insertion ranges between 1 /2 inches to 3 inches, and after insertion the mechanism 10 may be moved forward and/ or backward until the desired contact is sensed between the vaginal walls and the body 11. Determination of tht correct position is augmented by the protuberances of sensors 21, 22 and once properly inserted the perivaginal pubococcygeal muscle is consciously contracted against the resistance offered by the body portions 14, 15. The muscles are preferably contracted in a repetitive manner for a predetermined period of time one or more times each day until muscle tone is restored and preferably thereafter to maintain the muscular tone of these muscles.
In some cases in which the users perivaginal pubococcygeal muscles are extremely weak, the user may initially be unaware of minute contractions that may be taking place during an exercise period. However, when the exercising mechanism has been adjusted to a proper size and has been properly inserted, even the slightest co-ntractions can be sensed by the users fingertips when holding the exposed portion of the body 11 in such a manner as the bridge the space or slit sbetween the body portions 14, 15. During a contraction the fingertips can readily sense the slightest variation in the space between the body portions 14, 15.
Isometric exercising of the perivaginal pubococcygeal and related muscles can be performed in the manner heretofore described, it being only necessary to first remove the adjusting means or slide member 12 from between the body portions 14, 15 before the insertion of the instrument in the manner illustrated in FIGURE 1 of the drawing. Alternatively, the strand 13 can be knotted and the end 17 can be inserted into the vagina, and in each case the muscles can be contracted against the immovable resistance of the exerciser 10.
Another exercising mechanism constructed in accordance with this invention is illustrated in FIGURES 5 and 6 of the drawing, and is generally designated by the reference numeral The mechanism 35 includes a body, generally designated by the reference numeral 36' having ends 37, 38 and means 40 for adjusting the size of the body 36 and the resistance offered thereby against the contraction of muscles during exercising. The body 36 includes a pair of body portions 41, 42 which are generally U-shaped in transverse cross-section. The body portions 41, 42 carry a plurality of longitudinally disposed protuberances or sensors 43, 44, respectively, which project generally radially outwardly from the longitudinally axis of the body 36. The body portions 41, 42 are secured to each other by bands of material 45, 46 at the end 38 and define a chamber 47 which progressively decreases in size from left-to-right as View in FIGURES 5 and 6 of the drawing irrespective of the position of the adjusting means 40.
The adjusting means 40 includes an enlarged 48 housed in the chamber 47. Diametrically oppositely directed slide means in the form of flanges 39, 39 are carried by the head 48 and are sandwiched between each of the two opposed pairs of edges (unnumbered) of the body portions 41, 42. The head 48 is carried by a rod 49 projecting outwardly of the end portion 38 of the body 36. The exposed end portion of the rod 47 is preferably provided with indicia 50 for indicating the effective size and/or resistance offered by the body 36- against forces of contraction at any selected position of adjustment of the adjusting means 40 as determined by the particular position of the flanges 39, 39 along the axial length of the body 36.
Each of the mechanisms 10, 35 includes respective bodies 11, 36 which are formed of two separate body portions joined to each other only at the respective ends 17, 38. However, in accordance with another embodiment of this invention an exercising mechanism (FIGURE 7) is provided which includes a body 56 constructed of a single piece of material. The body 56 constructed of a single piece of material. The body 56 includes body portions 57, 58 separated by a slot or gap (unnumbered) extending from an end 60 toward an end 61 but terminating short of the latter. The body 56 may be formed by, for example, first molding the body from plastic or similar material, drilling an axial bore therethrough, and thereafter cutting the body to form the body portions 57, 56. Likewise and more simply the body 56 can be injection molded to the configuration shown in FIGURE 7.
The mechanism 55 also includes adjusting means 62 (shown removed from the operative position sandwiched between the body portions 57, 58) joined by a flexible connecting member 63 to the end 61 of the body 56.
Stop means 65 in the form of a generally circular disc surround the body 56 at a point substantially midway between the ends 60, 61. The disc 65 includes a circular opening 66 and diametrically directed slits 67, 68. The disc 65 is preferably constructed from flexible material, such as plastic or rubber, and the slits 67 permit the disc 65 to temporarily deform when moved from the position shown in FIGURE 7 toward either of the ends 60, 61. The purpose of the disc 65 is to limit the depth of insertion of either the ends 60, 61 into the vagina incident to exercising the pubococcygeus muscle against the yielding resistance of the spaced end portions 57, 58 or during isometric exercising against the solid end 61.
While each of the exercising mechanisms 10, 35, and 55 include respective adjusting means 12, 40 and 62, it is within the scope of this invention to construct each exercising mechanism to operate effectively in the absence of the adjusting means. For example, the exercising mechanism S5 is shown movably provided with a slot or groove (unnumbered) between the body portions 57, 58 converging from the end 60 toward the end '61 but terminating short of the latter. -By injection 'molding or therewise forming the body 56 from plastic or similar resilient material the inherent resilience thereof and the spacing of the body portion 57, 58 offer resistance during exercising in the manner heretofore described. Thus, while the adjusting means '62 is not necessarily needed in such a case it could be employed to expand the body portion 57, 58 more than that shown in FIGURE 7, if necessary.
In accordance with the last-described aspect of the invention, it is possible to entirely eliminate the adjusting means 62 yet achieve adjustment by means of the stop means 65 or a similar additional collar-like element. Assuming, for example, it is desired to reduce the peripheral size of the end portion 60, the stop means 65 would simply he slid from right-to-left in FIGURE 7 while opposite movement in this same figure would increase the space between the body portion 57, 58 and thus the size of the end portion '60. The means is therefore operative as stop means or adjusting means or both.
From the foregoing it is believed readily apparent that each of the exercising mechanisms 10, 35' and 55 are constructed from a minimum of separate components which are inexpensive to manufacture, simple to assemble, and when assembled easily and safely used by women without supervision. Regular use of the exercising mechanisms enables any user to maintain conscious control and contractability of the perivaginal pubococcygeal muscle, thus retaining physiological soundness of the vagina, particularly after childbirth. By maintaining the muscular tone of these muscles, the enjoyment of normal coitus for the user and/or her mate is increased by both conscious and unconscious contractability of these muscles.
The adjustable nature of the mechanisms to vary the resistance offered against the contraction forces is highly desirable and permits the exercisers to be pre-set relative to the resistance and maximum effective peripheral surface area prior to the introduction thereof into the body of the user. Thereafter the resistance and peripheral size may be readily adjusted as might be found necessary. This construction also permits the mechanisms to be inserted when partially closed or completely closed, and thereafter gradually expanded so as to enable the user to sense or feel out the perivaginal pubococcygeal muscle and, in particular, the outer portion of the middle third of the vagina where the constricting effect of this muscle is normally greatest.
Each of the above advantages and qualtities is combined into the most desirable physical configuration for the intended purposes, but it is to be understood that changes in the size and shape of the mechanisms thus far described may be made without departing from the spirit and scope of this invention. For example, the mechanisms may be constructed of a completely cylindrical configuration, as opposed to the tapered configuration best illustrated in FIGURE 3 of the drawings. The bands 18, 20 of the mechanism 10' could be, for example, constructed from rubber or similar flexible material to permit the removal thereof from the end .17 and the reapplication of these bands to the end 16. In this manner the slide member 12 would function as heretofore described except that the smaller end 17 would be inserted into the vagina.
While the body of each of the mechanisms has been described as being preferably constructed from rigid but flexible material, such as plastic, rubber, metal or other suitable material may be employed. The bodies of the instruments may be made in one piece or two or more portions normally of the same length secured together at either end by bands of similar means. The body portion need not be of an identical length and may be either solid or hollow. Several slides of different thicknesses may be provided for adjusting the resistance to any desirable degree, as well as peripheral size. 1
While preferred forms and arrangement of parts hav been shown in illustrating the invention, it is to be clearly understood that various changes in details and arrangement of parts may be made without departing from the spirit and scope of this disclosure.
1. A mechanism particularly adapted for exercising pubococcygeal muscles comprising a generally elongated body having axially opposite first and second ends, said body being defined by at least a pair of elongated body portions, said body portions being immovably fixed relative to each other at the first of said ends and being normally in spaced relationship to each other at the second of said ends, and said second ends of said body portions being constructed from resilient inherently reboundable material for offering resistance against movement of said second ends toward each other upon the contraction of the pubococcygeal muscles during the exercise thereof, and means are provided for adjustably spacing said second body ends to vary the resistance ofiered thereby.
2. The mechanism as defined in claim 1 wherein said spacing means is mounted for sliding movement between said second body ends in directions parallel to the body axis for moving said second body ends relative to each other thereby adjustably varying the spacing therebetween. l
3. The mechanism as defined in claim 1 wherein means are provided between said first and second ends for limiting the degree of introduction of one of said ends into an individual.
4. The mechanism as defined in claim wherein said body is of a gradually tapered cylindrical configuration having a maximum diameter at said second end which progressively reduces toward a minimum diameter at said first end.
-5. The mechanism as defined in claim 1 wherein said body includes a plurality of protuberances on the exterior thereof directed generally radially outwardly of the body axis.
'6. The mechanism as defined in claim 1 including means for selectively varying the resistance offered by said second body ends.
7. The mechanism as defined in claim 1 wherein means are provided for selectively adjusting the spacing between said second body ends, and said adjusting means is a member mounted for sliding movement relative to said second body ends parallel to the body axis in directions toward and away from the first body end to vary the spacing between said second body ends.
8. The mechanism as defined in claim 1 wherein said body is constructed from a single piece of synthetic plastic material.
9. The mechanism as defined in claim 1 wherein said pair of body portions are each constructed from a single piece of synthetic plastic material, and means are provided for rigidly securing said body portions to eac other at said first body end.
10. The mechanism as defined in claim 6 including means between said first and second ends for limiting the degree of introduction of one of said ends into an iridividual, said resistance varying means is a member mounted for sliding movement relative to said second body ends parallel to the body axis in directions toward and away from said first body end, means for guiding said member during the movement thereof between said second 7 8 body ends, means for securing said sliding member to References Cited said first body end, and said limiting means being a disc- UNITED STATES PATENTS like member exterlorly slidably carried by said second body 1,244,751 10/1917 McCleary l28345 11. The mechanism as defined in claim 10 wherein 1,928,893 10/1933 Hoard 1223-341 said body includes a plurality of protuberances on the 5 FOREIGN PATENTS exterior directed generally radially outwardly of the body axis, and Said disc-like member includes means for permitting the slidable movement thereof across said prombeames- 10 RICHARD c PINKHAM P E 12. The mechanism as defined in claim 1 wherein nmary Xammer said body includes a plurality of protuberances on the W. R. BROWNE, Assistant Examiner exterior thereof directed generally radially outwardly of the body axis, means in the form of a disc-like member externally telescopically surrounding said body between 15 12824, 345
said first and second ends for limiting the degree of introduction of one of said ends into an individual, and said disc-like member includes means for sliding the latter beyond said protuberances.
128,196 2/1920 Great Britain. 608,856 4/1926 France.