US3736920A - Traveling massager assembly - Google Patents

Traveling massager assembly Download PDF

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US3736920A
US3736920A US3736920DA US3736920A US 3736920 A US3736920 A US 3736920A US 3736920D A US3736920D A US 3736920DA US 3736920 A US3736920 A US 3736920A
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Prior art keywords
massage
supporting
carriage
supporting plate
shaft
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K Mathers
R Carlson
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NIAGARA THERAPY MANUF CORP
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NIAGARA THERAPY MANUF CORP
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    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A61MEDICAL OR VETERINARY SCIENCE; HYGIENE
    • A61HPHYSICAL THERAPY APPARATUS, e.g. DEVICES FOR LOCATING OR STIMULATING REFLEX POINTS IN THE BODY; ARTIFICIAL RESPIRATION; MASSAGE; BATHING DEVICES FOR SPECIAL THERAPEUTIC OR HYGIENIC PURPOSES OR SPECIFIC PARTS OF THE BODY
    • A61H15/00Massage by means of rollers, balls, e.g. inflatable, chains, or roller chains
    • A61H15/0078Massage by means of rollers, balls, e.g. inflatable, chains, or roller chains power-driven
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A61MEDICAL OR VETERINARY SCIENCE; HYGIENE
    • A61HPHYSICAL THERAPY APPARATUS, e.g. DEVICES FOR LOCATING OR STIMULATING REFLEX POINTS IN THE BODY; ARTIFICIAL RESPIRATION; MASSAGE; BATHING DEVICES FOR SPECIAL THERAPEUTIC OR HYGIENIC PURPOSES OR SPECIFIC PARTS OF THE BODY
    • A61H2201/00Characteristics of apparatus not provided for in the preceding codes
    • A61H2201/01Constructive details
    • A61H2201/0119Support for the device
    • A61H2201/0138Support for the device incorporated in furniture
    • A61H2201/0149Seat or chair
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A61MEDICAL OR VETERINARY SCIENCE; HYGIENE
    • A61HPHYSICAL THERAPY APPARATUS, e.g. DEVICES FOR LOCATING OR STIMULATING REFLEX POINTS IN THE BODY; ARTIFICIAL RESPIRATION; MASSAGE; BATHING DEVICES FOR SPECIAL THERAPEUTIC OR HYGIENIC PURPOSES OR SPECIFIC PARTS OF THE BODY
    • A61H2201/00Characteristics of apparatus not provided for in the preceding codes
    • A61H2201/02Characteristics of apparatus not provided for in the preceding codes heated or cooled
    • A61H2201/0207Characteristics of apparatus not provided for in the preceding codes heated or cooled heated
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A61MEDICAL OR VETERINARY SCIENCE; HYGIENE
    • A61HPHYSICAL THERAPY APPARATUS, e.g. DEVICES FOR LOCATING OR STIMULATING REFLEX POINTS IN THE BODY; ARTIFICIAL RESPIRATION; MASSAGE; BATHING DEVICES FOR SPECIAL THERAPEUTIC OR HYGIENIC PURPOSES OR SPECIFIC PARTS OF THE BODY
    • A61H2201/00Characteristics of apparatus not provided for in the preceding codes
    • A61H2201/02Characteristics of apparatus not provided for in the preceding codes heated or cooled
    • A61H2201/0221Mechanism for heating or cooling
    • A61H2201/0228Mechanism for heating or cooling heated by an electric resistance element
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A61MEDICAL OR VETERINARY SCIENCE; HYGIENE
    • A61HPHYSICAL THERAPY APPARATUS, e.g. DEVICES FOR LOCATING OR STIMULATING REFLEX POINTS IN THE BODY; ARTIFICIAL RESPIRATION; MASSAGE; BATHING DEVICES FOR SPECIAL THERAPEUTIC OR HYGIENIC PURPOSES OR SPECIFIC PARTS OF THE BODY
    • A61H2201/00Characteristics of apparatus not provided for in the preceding codes
    • A61H2201/16Physical interface with patient
    • A61H2201/1657Movement of interface, i.e. force application means
    • A61H2201/1664Movement of interface, i.e. force application means linear
    • A61H2201/1669Movement of interface, i.e. force application means linear moving along the body in a reciprocating manner
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A61MEDICAL OR VETERINARY SCIENCE; HYGIENE
    • A61HPHYSICAL THERAPY APPARATUS, e.g. DEVICES FOR LOCATING OR STIMULATING REFLEX POINTS IN THE BODY; ARTIFICIAL RESPIRATION; MASSAGE; BATHING DEVICES FOR SPECIAL THERAPEUTIC OR HYGIENIC PURPOSES OR SPECIFIC PARTS OF THE BODY
    • A61H23/00Percussion or vibration massage, e.g. using supersonic vibration; Suction-vibration massage; Massage with moving diaphragms
    • A61H23/02Percussion or vibration massage, e.g. using supersonic vibration; Suction-vibration massage; Massage with moving diaphragms with electric or magnetic drive
    • A61H23/0254Percussion or vibration massage, e.g. using supersonic vibration; Suction-vibration massage; Massage with moving diaphragms with electric or magnetic drive with rotary motor
    • A61H23/0263Percussion or vibration massage, e.g. using supersonic vibration; Suction-vibration massage; Massage with moving diaphragms with electric or magnetic drive with rotary motor using rotating unbalanced masses

Abstract

A traveling massager assembly adapted for association with a massage table or the backrest of a reclining chair whose body supporting cushioning features a hammock forming sheet of strong and flexible material secured at its perimeter to the cushioning framework, and a relatively thick slab of highly resilient padding having efficient vibration transmitting capabilities supported by said hammock forming sheet without framework attached springs; said cushioning operating in combination with a traveling massage carriage supported by a suspension shaft extending longitudinally of the cushioning framework along the approximate centerline of the hammock forming sheet with the ends of the shaft resiliently and adjustably suspended from the cushioning framework; the massage carriage embracing a series of resilient massage rollers positioned in rolling contact with a tough and flexible inner liner secured to the hammock forming sheet on opposite sides of the shaft, the massage rollers being resiliently supported in cantilever suspension by a roller supporting framework whose center sections are rigidly secured to a vibratory motor supporting baseplate, the carriage baseplate being connected to a carriage suspension member rockably journalled on the shaft by a pair of resilient and flexible mounts secured in spaced relation to the baseplate along the approximate centerline thereof; and driving mechanism for slowly reciprocating the carriage suspension member along the shaft.

Description

United States Patent [191 Mathers et al.

[451 .lllne 5,1973

[73] Assignee: Niagara [54] TRAVELING MASSAGER ASSEMBLY [75] Inventors: Kenneth R. Mathers, Fredonia Village; Reuben T. Carlson, Jamestown, both of NY.

Therapy Manufacturing Corporation, Brocton, N.Y.

[22] Filed: Mar. 18, 1971 [21] Appl. No.: 125,482

Primary Examiner-Lawrence W. Trapp Att0rney-Reuben T. Carlson [57] ABSTRACT A traveling massager assembly adapted for association with a massage table or the backrest of a reclining chair whose body supporting cushioning features a hammock forming sheet of strong and flexible material secured at its perimeter to the cushioning framework, and a relatively thick slab of highly resilient padding having efficient vibration transmitting capabilities supported by said hammock forming sheet without framework attached springs; said cushioning operating in combination with a traveling massage carriage supported by a suspension shaft extending longitudinally of the cushioning framework along the approximate centerline of thehammock forming sheet with the ends of the shaft resiliently and adjustably suspended from the cushioning framework; the massage carriage embracing a series of resilient massage rollers positioned in rolling contact with a tough and flexible inner liner secured to the hammock forming sheet on opposite sides of the shaft, the massage rollers being resiliently supported in cantilever suspension by a roller supporting framework whose center sections are rigidly secured to a vibratory motor supporting baseplate, the carriage baseplate being connected to a carriage suspension member rockably journalled on the shaft by a pair of resilient and flexible mounts secured in spaced relation to the baseplate along the approximate centerline thereof; and driving mechanism for slowly reciprocating the carriage suspension member along the shaft.

26 Claims, 29 Drawing Figures PATENIEUJUH 5 I973 SHEET 2 BF 8 1:11": it: If

KENNETH/9. MATHERS 8 REUBEN Z' CARLSON, INVENTORS Pmfmium 51ers SHEET 3 OF 8 lOb IHVENTORS KENNETH R. AMT/ 5R9 REUBEN 7' CARLSON PATENIEDJUH 5 I975 SHEET 4 BF 8 INVENTOIS KENNETH R. MATHERS REUBEN 7' CARLSO/V PATENTEUJUH 51975 SHEET 5 OF 8 INVENTORS KENNETH R, MATHERS REUBEN 7' CARLSON PAILNTEUJUH 5l975 3,736,920

SHEET 7 [1F 8 FIG [6 INV ENTORS KENNETH R. MATHERS REUBEN T. CARLSON PATENTEBJUH sma 3.736.920 SHEET 80F 8 INVE/V TORS KEN/VET R. MATHERS REUBEN T. CARLSO/V TRAVELING MASSAGER ASSEMBLY BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION Therapeutic massage is receiving increasing approval among medical doctors, therapeutists and clinics as a treatment methodology for hypertension, poor circulation, heart problems, and as a means to induce repose and relaxation without the use of drugs. Clinical researchers in many medical institutions are exploring numerous avenues of therapeutic massage, including the most effective amplitude, vibration cycle and heat application for different body treatments, and the preferred mode of applying vibration and/or heat to the body.

Roller massage assemblies constructed as disclosed in U. S. Pat. Nos. 3,389,699 and 3,405,709, and which provide a means and method of applying therapeutic massage to substantial areas of the human form, continues in substantial use in the United States and other countries. As in all therapeutic and medical equipment,

users experiences and clinical observations extending over a substantial period, have revealed that roller massage assemblies made in accordance with above mentioned patents have certain structural and operative drawbacks which inspire inventive improvements.

The generally accepted objective to be obtained in the use of rolling massage equipment is to effect pleasing and relaxing massage, under controlled vibratory and heat conditions and in a manner which insure maximum flexural response between the body supporting cushioning and the traveling massage rollers. To attain this objective, consideration must be given to the varying body weights and shifts in body weight applied to the body supporting cushioning when the cushioning occupant assumes a substantially erect or sitting posture, or various reclining postures, or horizontal posture.

To satisfy these conditions to a maximum degree, requires flexural coordination between the cushioning and the traveling massage carriage under delicately controlled conditions, so that uniform massaging pressure is applied to the muscle parts of the undulating contour of the body, and which produce effective massage treatment of cushion occupants of various weights and in various postures.

SUMMARY OF THIS INVENTION The traveling massager assembly made in accordance with this invention features specially constructed body supporting cushioning which includes a body supporting hammock formed of tough and strong textile material whose perimeter is secured to a surrounding framework, but is not supported by frame-attached springs. A relatively thick slab, formed from a highly resilient padding material having efficient vibration transmitting capabilities such as urethane foam, overlies the textile hammock, with the slab covered by sanitary upholstery material whose perimeter is secured to the cushioning framework. An inner liner formed from a strong, flexible, smooth surface plastic sheet is secured by stitching to the innerface of the textile hammock. The weight and posture of the cushioned occupant will produce a corresponding inward sag of the inner liner which provides a tracking surface for the resilient rollers of the traveling massage carriage.

The traveling massage carriage, together with the carriage suspension and driving mechanism, are

uniquely constructed to operate in cooperative relation to the body supporting cushioning, so that uniformly controlled massage pressure is exerted on the undulating body of the cushion occupant, and which takes into account both the weight and posture of the cushion occupant; as the massage rollers slowly travel within the cushioning framework. This result is obtained in this invention by a combination of features and devices which include a carriage supporting shaft extending longitudinally of the framework along the approximate centerline of the cushioning, with the ends of the shaft resiliently supported and resiliently responsive to the weight and posture of the cushion occupant.

The massage carriage of this invention is simplified in construction and greatly improved in massage capability over the prior art. This massage carriage embraces a relatively rigid baseplate and a roller supporting framework. The roller framework presents U-shaped center sections rigidly secured to the underface of the baseplate, roller supporting axle sections on opposite sides and in spaced relation to the side edges of the baseplate and below the underside thereof, and leg sections integrally connecting the U-shaped center sections to the inner ends of the axle sections, with the leg sections overhanging the side edges of the baseplate and supporting the axle sections and the massage rollers journalled thereon in resilient cantilever suspension.

A vibration producing motor unit, having counterweights secured to the opposite ends of its rotor shaft and extending therefrom in diametrically opposite directions, is contained in a ventilated housing secured to one end of the baseplate, with the motor axis preferably extending transversely of the baseplate and between the adjacent massage rollers on opposite sides of the baseplate. To obtain more vigorous massage action, similar vibration producing motor units may be secured to the opposite ends of the baseplate. Elliptical vibrations produced by the vibratory motor unit or motor units are transmitted to the baseplate, with the major axis of elliptical vibrations extending along the longitudinal centerline of the baseplate, and thence transmitted to the massage rollers through the roller supporting framework.

A unique feature of this invention is the manner in which the massage carriage and its associated vibrating motor unit or units are supported or suspended from the longitudinally extending shaft. This carriage suspension means includes a box-shaped member or block having bearing sleeves through which the shaft extends and which pivotally or rockably supports the carriage suspension member on the shaft. The box-shaped carriage suspension member presents a pair of laterally extending foot portions which are connected to the baseplate by a pair of resilient and flexible rubber mounts. The lower ends of the mounts are connected in spaced relation to the baseplate along the longitudinal centerline thereof, and in spaced relation to the vibratory motor unit or units whose housing or housings are secured to one end or both ends of the baseplate.

The paired resilient and flexible mounts as thus positioned and secured, insure flexural movement of the resiliently suspended and inherently resilient massage rollers in all directions; namely, (a) in a vertical direction, (b) in directions extending longitudinally of and transversely of the normal plane of the baseplate, and

tions transverse to the longitudinal axis of the shaft, in

accordance with the degree of body pressure exerted on the rollers through the inner liner with which the massage rollers are in rolling contact. A set of rollers are positioned on opposite sides of the longitudinal axis of the shaft so that when the back of the cushion occupant is to be treated, only the muscle areas of the persons back is subjected to massage treatment, and no roller vibrations or pressure is exerted against the persons spinal column, when the persons spinal column is positioned directly over the longitudinal shaft. To protect the spinal column of the cushion occupant, a strip of upholstery webbing may be provided which extends longitudinally over the shaft and is sandwiched between the hammock forming sheet and the resilient rubber slab of the cushion, with the ends of the webbing strip secured to the cushioning framework.

Mechanism is provided to slowly reciprocate the boxshaped carriage suspension member along the longitudinal shaft, and which drives the massage carriage and its resilient rollers in vibratory contact with the inner liner of the cushioning, at a pressure which is uniformly responsive to the cushion occupants weight and posture. This mechanism includes a driving motor and speed reducing unit connected by a flexible coupling to one end of the shaft and which is adjustably responsive to the movement of the shaft whose ends are resiliently supported from the cushioning framework. The means for reciprocating the box-shaped member for which the massage carriage is flexibly suspended, may be one of various forms of linear actuators. A modification and adaptation of the linear actuator shown in U. S. Pat. No. 3,473,393 has been found to provide a satisfactory linear drive mechanism for the carriage suspending box-shaped member.

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 traveling massager assembly constructed in accordance with this invention, and which is operative to apply massage vibrations through the backrest cushioning and to a person 's back reclining thereagainst; this view also showing the control panel positioned along the inside face of one of the cushioned armrests whose rear face supports solid state electronic components 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 removable rear panel of the backrest which permits unobstructed access to the massage mechanism contained in the backrest framework.

FIG. 3 is a front elevational view of the control panel showing the finger manipulated elements of the electronic components which control the massage operation.

FIG. 4 is a rear elevational view of the control panel which reveals the timer, solid state electronic components and associated connecting wires as mounted on the rear face of the control panel.

FIG. 5 is a wiring diagram which illustrates the electrical connections extending from the panel mounted control components to the heat pad, the vibratory motor supported by the massage carriage, the driving motor for rotating the carriage suspension shaft, and the auxilliary vibratory motor associated with the extensible foot rest and/or seat of the reclining chair.

FIG. 6 is a rear view of the chair backrest with the rear panel removed, and as the same appears prior to the installation of the traveling massager unit in the backrest framework.

FIG. 7 is a longitudinal section of the chair backrest as the same would appear when viewed along line 77 of FIG. 6, this view showing further details of the novel resilient cushioning construction supported by the backrest framework and through which the traveling massage rollers transmit therapeutic massage to the occupants back.

FIG. 8 is a rear view of the backrest shown in FIGS. 6 and 7 as the same would appear when the traveling massager unit is installed therein.

FIG. 9 is a longitudinal section of the backrest and traveling massager unit installed therein and as the same would appear when viewed along line 9-9 of FIG. 8.

FIG. 10 is a top plan view of the massage carriage and a section of the carriage suspension shaft, with certain parts shown in section.

FIG. 11 is an elevational view of the massage carriage, with certain parts shown in section; and as the same would appear when viewed along line 11-11 of FIG. 10.

FIG. 12 is a bottom plan view of the massage carriage, certain parts being shown in section.

FIG. 13 is an end elevational view of the massage carriage as the same would appear when viewed along line 13-13 of FIG. 12, certain parts of the vibratory motor housing being broken away to reveal structural details of the vibratory motor contained therein.

FIG. 14 is a bottom plan view of a massage carriage which incorporates a modified form of roller supporting framework, certain parts being shown in section to illustrate structural details.

FIG. 15 is a side view of the modified massage carriage as the same would appear when viewed along line 15-15 of FIG. 14.

FIG. 16 is an elevational view showing a section of the upper transverse frame member of the cushioning framework and the resilient hanger suspended therefrom which flexibly supports the upper end of the massage carriage suspension shaft, and as the same would appear when viewed along the line l6--l6 of FIG. 8.

FIG. 17 is a transverse section taken along line 17--l7 of FIG. 16 which shows further details of the resilient shaft suspension hanger and associated means for limiting the permitted flexure of the hanger.

FIG. 18 is a plan view of the transversely extending angle shaped bar whose ends are adjustably pivotted to the lower end portions of the backrest side framing members, and which supports the adjacent end of the massage carriage suspension shaft, certain parts being broken away to reveal structural details.

FIG. 18A is a fragmentary view taken along line 18A18A of FIG. 18 which shows in further detail the pivot means for adjustably connecting each end of the transverse shaft supporting bar to the adjacent side frame member of the cushion framework.

FIG. 19 is an outside view of a medial section of the angle shaped bar shown in FIG. 18, the drive motor supporting plate, and the resilient and flexible drive motor cushioning means; this view also showing one section of the flexible coupling applied to a reduced diameter end portion of the suspension shaft and pocketed in a centrally located hole in the motor supporting plate.

FIG. 20 is a plan view of the shaft rotating motor and associated gear box which contains speed reduction gearing, this view further showing the projecting stub shaft extending from the gear box, the companion section of the flexible coupling in exploded relation thereto, and one of the resilient mounts which connects the motor gear box unit to the drive motor support plate shown in FIG. 19.

FIG. 21 is a side view of the shaft rotating motor and associated gear box section as viewed along line 2121 of FIG. 19, this view also showing in further detail the flexible mounts which connect the gear box section to the motor support plate.

FIG. 22 is a top plan view of one form of linear actuator associated with a massage carrier suspension box which contains roller mechanism which causes the carriage suspension box to travel along the suspension shaft as the shaft is rotated; this view also showing the means for shifting the direction of travel of the massage carriage suspending box along the length of the shaft.

FIG. 23 is a transverse section taken along line 23-23 of FIG. 22, this view showing further details of the suspension box, associated actuator mechanism for driving the suspension box longitudinally along the rotated shaft, and the means for reversing the direction of travel of the carriage suspension box.

FIG. 24 is another transverse section of the carriage suspension box as viewed along line 2424 of FIG. 23, this view showing further details of the linear actuator and the bearing support for the suspension box; and

FIGS. 25A, 25B, 25C and 25D diagrammatically illustrate the positions of the directional shift device during various positions of travel of the carriage suspension box.

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

In general, the traveling massager assembly of this invention embraces a novel operative combination of a body supporting Cushion A of novel construction; a novel massage carriage B whose vibratory motor unit M-l is supported on a baseplate l, which transmits its vibrations to resilient massage rollers 4 through a novel roller supporting framework 2; a carriage suspension structure C which includes a longitudinally extending shaft 15, whose opposite ends are resiliently and flexibly supported by a suspension hanger 20 and an adjustable pivot bar 35, and on which a carriage suspension member 10 is rockably journalled and connected to the carriage baseplate through resilient and flexible mounts 12; and mechanism D for slowly reciprocating the massage carriage and the carriage suspension member along the shaft.

The massage carriage B, resilient and flexible mounts 12, the carriage suspension member 10, and the resilient and flexible shaft supports 20 and 35, operate in cooperative combination to insure uniform application of roller pressure to the body supported cushioning, and flexible adjustment of the massage rollers in all directions, in response to the weight and posture of the cushioned occupant.

The Body Supporting Cushion The traveling massage carriage B operates in cooperative relation to a body supporting cushion A designed to effectively transmit therapeutic massage from the vibrating massage rollers 4 to a person s body reclining on the cushion. The cushion may be supported by a generally rectangular framework which may constitute the backrest framework of a reclining chair, or the framework of a massage table. The cushion supporting framework 100 comprises a pair of spaced side frame members 101 joined at the ends thereof by transverse end frame members 102 and 103 to provide a sturdy framework.

The cushion A embraces a strong and flexible sheet W4 which may be made of strong burlap, canvas or other flexible textile material, and whose perimeter is secured to the cushioning framework 100. The flexible sheet 104 serves as a flexible body supporting hammock which is unsupported by any framework attached springs. A highly resilient slab 105, formed from urethane foam or other types of sponge rubber material, overlies the outer face of the flexible textile sheet 104 and may be held in position thereon by areas of adhesive. The highly resilient slab 105 is sized to extend over the entire area of the rectangular framework 100 and should be 2 to 4 inches in thickness. It has been found that a urethane foam slab of substantial thickness provides an excellent medium for the transmission of therapeutic massage from the massage rollers 4 to a persons body reclining thereon. The outer surface of the sponge rubber slab 105 is covered by upholstery material 106 whose perimeter is wrapped around and secured to the cushioning framework. Suitable filler padding 107 of sponge rubber or other resilient material may be applied around the cushioning slab 105 to give attractive shape to the upholstery covering 166.

A heat pad 108 is sandwiched between the sponge rubber slab 105 and the upholstery covering 106 as shown in FIGS. 7 and 9, and whose heat is reflected directly through the upholstery covering 106 to the persons body supported thereon with substantially no heat loss, because of the insulating effect of the sponge rubber slab 105.

The massage carriage suspension shaft 15 extends substantially along the longitudinal centerline of the cushioning with the massage rollers 4 positioned on opposite sides and in laterally spaced relation to the longitudinal shaft 15 as shown in FIG. 8. As thus positioned, the longitudinal shaft is located along the spinal column of the cushion supported occupant, and the massage rollers 4 on opposite sides thereof operate to apply therapeutic massage to the muscle areas on opposite sides of the spinal column of the cushion occupant. A longitudinally extending strip 109 of upholstery webbing may be positioned between the adjacent faces of the sponge rubber slab E05 and the hammock forming sheet 104 of textile material, with the ends of the strip 109 secured to the mid-sections of the transverse frame members 102 and 103 of the cushion framework. As thus positioned, the webbing strip 109 is located between the massage roller supporting shaft 15 and the spinal column of the cushion occupant and provides protection to the spinal column of the cushion supported occupant.

An inner liner 110 of strong and flexible and wear resisting plastic is stitched to the inner face of the flexible textile hammock 104 to cover the major area thereof as shown in FIGS. 6 and 8. The inner liner 110 provides a smooth and lasting surface along which the massage rollers 4 may travel. As thus constructed, the areas 110a and 11% of the inner liner 110 are free to sag in an unsupported manner as a result of the pressure exerted by the muscle areas on opposite sides of the occupants spinal column.

The extreme sides of the flexible textile hammock 104 may be reinforced if desirable by a pair of relatively narrow strips 109 of upholstery webbing extending directly adjacent the inside faces of the side frame members 101 of the cushioned framework, and with the opposite ends of the strips 109 secured to the transverse frame members 102 and 103 of the cushion framework. If desired the opposite ends of the flexible textile hammock 105 may also be reinforced by transversely extending strips 109 of upholstery webbing positioned directly adjacent the transverse frame members 102 and 103 of the cushion framework. The medial strip 109 and the side strips 109' of the upholstery webbing as thus positioned do not interfere with the appropriate sag of the side portions 110a and 110b of the inner liner 110 as a result of the body weight.

The improved massage carriage B of this invention includes a roller supporting framework formed by a pair of shaped rods 2 having complementary U-shaped center sections 20 rigidly secured by weldments to the underside of a relatively rigid baseplate 1. Spaced leg sections 2b connected to the center sections 20 overhang the side edges of the baseplate 1 and support axle forming sections 2a in cantilever suspension. One or more resilient massage rollers 4 positioned on the opposite sides of the baseplate 1, are rotatably journalled on the axle sections of the roller supporting framework. A vibrating motor unit M-1 embraces a vibratory motor 8 contained in a housing which is rigidly secured to one or both ends of the baseplate 1, with the axis of the vibratory motor or motors 8 preferably extending transversely of the longitudinal centerline of the baseplate. When the vibratory motor or motors are energized, the vibrations thereby produced are transmitted to the massage rollers through the baseplate 1 and roller supporting framework.

The massage carriage is supported or suspended on a longitudinally extending shaft 15 on which a boxshaped carriage suspension member 10 is joumalled. The carriage suspension member 10 is connected to the baseplate 1 of the massage carriage by a pair of resilient and flexible mounts 12 positioned in spaced relation along the approximate longitudinal centerline of the baseplate l, with the box member and the massage carriage suspended therefrom swingably journalled on the suspension shaft. One end of the suspension shaft 15 is supported by a resilient and flexible hanger suspended from the adjacent transverse frame member 102, and the other end of the suspension shaft is supported by a transverse bar 35 whose ends are pivotally and adjustably connected to the side frame members 101 of the cushioning framework.

Unique, effective and pleasing massage action results from the cooperative relationship between the body supporting cushioning A as thus constructed, and the massage carriage B and its supporting structure C, as the massage carrier slowly travels back and forth along electric motor 40a and gear reduction unit 40b flexibly supported by the transverse bar 35, is connected by a flexible coupling unit 45 to one end of the shaft 15 and continuously rotates the shaft in one direction only.

The massage carriage may be slowly reciprocated by a linear actuator D of suitable design, such as the linear actuator illustrated in FIGS. 22-24.

The linear actuator of the type shown in FIGS. 22-24, embraces a pair of drive rollers 50a and 50b contained in the carriage suspension member 10 and positioned on opposite sides of the shaft 15. The perimeters of rollers 50a and 50b are maintained in driven contact with the shaft under uniform pressure, and thus rotated by rotation of the shaft. Shift means are provided for tilting the rollers 50a and 50b in opposite directions to propel the carriage suspending member in one direction; and at the end of its one-way travel, to reverse the tilting angle of the opposite rollers to propel the carriage suspending member in the opposite direction.

backrest of a reclining chair, FIGS. 1, 2 and 6-9 show the traveling massager assembly associated with the backrest of a reclining chair, and whose rectangular cushioning framework may present a pair of outer inclined side members 111 extending along the outside faces of the side frame members 101 and secured at one end thereof to the upper transverse frame member 102 and secured at the other end thereof to the side frame members by spacer blocks 112. In this case the upholstery covering 106 is wrapped around the inclined sideframe members 111. and the spacer blocks 112. Suitable filler padding 107 is positioned between the rectangular frame forming side members 101 and the inclined side frame members 111 to give the backrest cushion attractive shape and form.

The seat framework which suitable filler has end frames 113 around padding and upholstery covering is wrapped, and are supported by short legs 114. The traveling massager mechanism is protected by a detachable backrest panel 115 as shown in FIG. 2, and is partly supported along the longitudinal centerline thereof by a protective guard 25 which extends over the longitudinal shaft 15. One end of the shaft is supported by the transverse frame member 35 and the other end of the shaft is resiliently suspended from hanger assembly 20.

The lower end portions of the side frame member 101 of the backrest framework 100 are pivotably connected to the seat framework by pivot bolts 116 as shown in FIGS. 7 and 8. The reclining chair may also present a footrest 117 connected to reclining mechanism which operates to manipulate the footrest from vertical position to horizontal position; and which reclining mechanism is also connected to the backrest framework as well as the seat cushion frame to effectuate reclining movement of the backrest and tilting movement of the seat cushion. Such reclining mechanisms are well known and form no part of this invention. A vibratory motor unit M-Z may be secured to the cushioning springs of the footrest, and/or the cushioning springs of the adjustable seatframe, as is also well known.

Electronic control means, mounted on a control panel 65, as shown in FIGS. 1, 3 and 4, and connected by circuitry as shown in FIG. 5, control the speed and operation of the vibratory unit or units M-l associated with the traveling massage carriage, and the speed and operation of the vibratory motor unit M-2 associated with the footrest 117; and which also controls the operation of the shaft rotating motor unit M-3 and the operation of the heat pad HP. All of these operations are also under the control of a time clock TC.

The Massage Carriage The massage carriage as shown in FIGS. 8-115 embraces a relatively rigid baseplate I to which a massage roller supporting frame structure is rigidly secured. The roller supporting frame structure embraces a pair of similar roller supporting frames 2 each of which is formed from a steel rod approximately one-fourth inch in diameter. Each rod is shaped to provide a pair of spaced axle forming portions or sections 2a, a leg section 2b integrally joined to the inner end of each axle section and extending substantially at a right angle thereto. The paired leg portions or sections 2b of each roller frame are integrally joined to the paired arms 2c of a U-shaped center section which is rigidly bonded as by welding to the underside of the baseplate I.

In the massage carriage illustrated in FIGS. 10-13, the paired roller supporting frames 2 are positioned on opposite sides of the longitudinal centerline xx of the baseplate 1, with the spaced leg sections 2b of each roller supporting frame 2 forming a linear continuation of the side arms 2c of the U-shaped center section thereof, and with the web portions 20" of the paired roller supporting frames 2 positioned substantially in abutting relation along the longitudinal centerline xx of the baseplate ll. As thus constructed, the paired leg sections 2b of the roller frame 2 overhang the same side edge of the baseplate 1, and support the axle forming sections 2a thereof in cantilever suspension.

In the massage carriage shown in FIGS. 14 and 15, the two roller supporting frames 2 are positioned on opposite sides of the transverse centerline yy of the baseplate 1, and with the paired leg sections 2b and axle sections 20 positioned on opposite sides of the longitudinal centerline x-x of the baseplate 1. As thus constructed, the leg sections 2b overhang the opposite side edges of the baseplate l in cantilever suspension, and with the opposite leg sections 2b integrally joined at substantially a right angle to the arms 20' of the associated U-shaped center section 2c. As shown in FIG. 14, the web portions 2c" of the U-shaped center sections 20 of the opposite roller frames 2 are positioned substantially in abutment along the transverse centerline y-y of the baseplate 1, and with the side arms 2c thereof extending substantially in parallel relation to the longitudinal centerline x-x of the baseplate t and rigidly secured thereto.

A characteristic of the roller frame structure of this invention is the provision of a pair of longitudinally spaced leg sections 2b which overhang each of the opposite side edges of the baseplate 1, and support the associated axle forming sections 2a thereof in cantilever suspension, and with the leg sections 2b downwardly inclined to thereby support the associated axle forming sections 20 in spaced and substantially parallel relation to the adjacent side edge of the baseplate l and in spaced relation to the bottom face thereof.

To insure rigid securement of the paired U-shaped sections 2c of the paired roller frames 2 to the baseplate I, a pre-formed cover plate 3 may be provided having raised ribs 3a defining conforming channels or grooves on one side thereof which telescope over and interlock with the web portions 20" and the arm portions 20' of the U-shaped center sections 20 of the paired roller frames 2, as shown in FIGS. 12 and IS. The cover plate 3 is spot welded to the underside of the baseplate 1, with spot welds also bonding the cover plate and the U-shaped center sections 2c of the paired roller frames to the baseplate 1. The paired U-shaped sections 20 of the paired roller supporting frames 2, when welded to the underside of the baseplate I, insure delivery of vibrations applied to the baseplate 1, and to the cantilever supported axle forming sections 2a of the roller frame structure.

The leg sections 2b of the paired roller supporting frames 2 may be formed from a steel which may be heat treated and tempered to give substantial resiliency to the leg sections, and thus provide resilient support for the massage rollers. This can be accomplished by heat treating and tempering only the leg sections 2b, or the pair of roller supporting frames 2 and the supporting plate 1 may all be heat treated and tempered as a unit.

One or more resilient massage rollers 4 are rotatably journalled on each axle forming section 20 of the roller frames 2. In one form of the invention as shown in FIGS. 10-13, the massage roller may be formed from resilient rubber presenting two or more substantially spherical sections 4a of substantially equal diameter which are integrally joined by a contracted neck portion 4a of smaller diameter. In another form of the invention as shown in FIGS. 14 and t5, the rollers may compriseindependent resilient rubber spheres or balls d substantially equal in diameter and whose ends may be slightly flattened.

A tubular bearing sleeve 5, preferably formed of plastic compound having a low friction coefficient, extends axially through the roller or rollers d, and is journalled on the associated axle forming section 2a of the roller frame. In one form of the invention as shown on the left hand side of FIGS. 12 and M, the outer surface of the journal forming sleeve 5 may be bonded to the bore surface of the massage roller or rollers supported thereon. In another form of the invention as shown at the right hand side of FIGS. 12 and 14, the outer surface of the journal forming sleeve 5 may be bonded to an outer secondary sleeve 6 formed from highly resilient material such as sponge rubber, with the outer surface of the highly resilient secondary sleeve 6 bonded to the surface of the enlarged axial bore of the roller.

To retain the massage roller or rollers in rotative position, the axle forming section 2a presents an abutment lug 2a adjacent the inner end thereof as shown in FIGS. 10, 12 and 14 against which a retaining washer 7 formed of a material of low friction coefficient abuts. The projecting free end 212" of each axle forming portion 2a also supports a similar retaining washer 7 which is retained in position by a cap nut 7a threaded to the Zlll outer free end 2a" of the axle forming section. It will be noted by referring to FIG. 11 that each axle forming section 2a is slightly downwardly inclined with respect to the plane of the supporting plate, and each axle forming section 2a is resiliently suspended by the associated overhanging leg section 2b thereof in a manner to position the upper surface of the massage roller laterally spaced from and positioned below the plane of the supporting plate 1.

The carriage supported massage rollers 4 are vibrated by a vibrator assembly M-ll embracing a gymtory motor 8 of fractional horsepower, fixed to one end of the baseplate 1, or by a pair of vibratory motor assemblies M-l fixed to the opposite ends of the baseplate I, and with the rotor shaft 8a preferably extending parallel to the transverse axis y y of the baseplate 1. An eccentric counterweight 8b may be integrally formed as a part of a hub 80 which is secured to each end of the rotor shaft 8a. A pair of motor cooling fans 8d are secured to the opposite ends of the rotor shaft 8a, and the hub 8c may be made as an integral part of the fan, or the fan 8d may be welded to the adjacent hub 80.

The stator casing of the vibratory motor, the cooling fans 8d and counterweights 8b, may all be protectively enclosed within a pair of cup-shaped housing sections 8e telescoped over the opposite ends of the motor. Each cup-shaped housing section 8e presents airflow apertures 8e therein as shown in FIG. 11, and the housing sections preferably present a flattened sideface 8e" which flatly seats against the upper face of the baseplate l. The motor housing sections 8e are secured to the outer end of the supporting plate 1 as by means of screws or bolts 9 as shown in FIG. 12.

The massage carriage as shown in FIGS. 8 and 9 may embrace a single vibratory motor assembly M-l secured to one end of the supporting plate 1 in spaced relation to a vibratory motor assembly M-ll as shown in FIGS. 10-15 may be secured to each end of the baseplate 1 and with the paired U-shaped center sections 2c of the roller supporting framework positioned therebetween.

It will be noted by referring to FIGS. 10 and 15, that the counterweights 8b on opposite ends of the motor shaft 8a extends in diametrically opposite directions, and since the opposite ends of the motor shaft are journalled in self-aligning-gyratory bearings supported by the stator casing, the self-aligning bearings permit gyratory motion of the eccentrically weighted motor shaft 8a. As a result, the cup-shaped motor housing sections 8e will be vigorously vibrated in an elliptical path whose major axis extends substantially parallel to the centerline x-x of the baseplate 11. These vibrations are delivered through the baseplate l to the paired roller supporting frames 2 and to the massage rollers 4 supported thereby.

Where a pair of vibratory motors are secured to the opposite ends of the baseplate 1, as shown in FIGS. 10, 11, l2, l4 and 15, it will be noted that the eccentric weights 8b fixed to the adjacent ends of the two motor shafts, extend in the same diametrical direction, so that both motors cooperate when run at the same speed to vigorously vibrate the baseplate 1 in a harmonious manner. While the paired vibratory motors are normally powered to rotate at the same speed to harmoniously transmit vigorous vibrations to the baseplate 1 it has been found that a variation in the rotative speed of the vibratory motors for whatever cause, produces corresponding and periodic pulsation of the vibrations from maximum to minimum which also has a pleasing and beneficial massage effect.

CARRIAGE SUSPENSION STRUCTURE The baseplate l of the massage carriage above described, is resiliently and flexibly suspended from a box-shaped member or block 10 which may be formed as a solid cube of cast metal or plastic material, or may be stamped from a relatively thick metal blank which provide a top wall 10a, a pair of spaced end walls 10b and a pair of spaced side walls 100. Where the carriage suspension member is formed of sheet metal, the lower ends of the side walls thereof may be provided with flared flanges 11 as shown in FIGS. 10, 11 and 15.. When the carriage suspension member 10 is formed as a cast or molded metal or plastic block, a support plate may be secured to the underface of the block and which presents a pair of laterally flared end extensions or flange portions 11. The flanges ll provide the means for resiliently and flexibly securing the box-shaped suspension member to the massage carriage baseplate 1.

The laterally extending flanges 11 of the carriage suspension member 10 are supported on a pair of spaced mounts 12 formed of a resilient and flexible material such as rubber and which may be either cylindrical or generally cubical in form. The paired resilient and flexible mounts 12 are positioned in spaced relation on opposite sides of the U-shaped center sections 20 of the paired roller frames 2 and along. the longitudinal centerline x-x of the baseplate l The lower end of each mount 12 is secured to the baseplate 1 by a securing bolt 12a having a threaded shank portion which extends into the mount 12 a distance which is approximately one-third of its height.

The spaced flanges 11 of the carriage suspension box 10 are secured to the upper ends of the resilient and flexible mounts 12 by securing bolts 12b which extend into the mounts for a distance of approximately onethird of their height. The mounts 12, positioned in spaced relation along the longitudinal centerline of the baseplate l and in spaced relation to the vibratory motor assembly M-l secured to one end of the support ing plate 1, or in medial spaced relation to the paired vibratory motor assemblies secured to the opposite ends of the carriage baseplate 1, permit flexure of the roller supporting baseplate l and the associated massage rollers in directions both transverse to and longitudinally of the baseplate l.

A suspension shaft 15 extends through the end walls 10b of the carriage suspension member it] and provides swivelling support therefor, as shown in FIGS. 8 and 10-15. A single or a pair of bearing sleeves 13 project from the opposite end walls 10b of the carriage suspension member 10 and are secured to the perimeter of the shaft receiving bore in the end walls 10b thereof, and thus provide bearing support for the carriage suspension member 10. As thus mounted, the carriage suspension member 10 is swivelly supported by the longitudinally suspending shaft 15 and permits the massage rollers 4 on opposite sides of the shaft 15 to flexibly respond to the pressure exerted on the massage rollers by the body supporting framework cushion.

The massage carriage and the carriage suspension structure C as thus made, permits flexure of the massage rollers in vertical, transverse and longitudinal d i rections, in sensitive response to body pressure transmitted to the resilient framework cushion.

The massage carriage suspension shaft 15 extends longitudinally of the cushion supporting framework 100 and medially between the side frame members 101 thereof. The upper end of the suspension shaft is resiliently and flexibly supported by a steel spring 20 which may be generally diamond shaped in outline as shown in FIGS. 8,9, 16 and 17 and presents a horizontal center portion 20a merging into a pair of outwardly and downwardly inclined arm portions 20b, and which merge into coiled spring portions 20c at approximately the horizontal mid-section of the spring. The coiled spring portions 20c merge into a pair of inwardly and downwardly inclined arm portions 20d which terminate in spaced forwardly extending foo-t portions 20e.

The generally diamond shaped spring 20 is suspended by a pair of hanger clips 21 which embrace the horizontal central portion 20a of the spring. The hanger clips 21 are secured to a spacer block or plate 22 which in turn is secured by screws 22 to the inside face of the upper transverse frame member 102 of the cushion framework. The forwardly projecting foot portions 20e of the spring 20 are inserted into conforming bores 23' formed in a shaft suspension block 23 which may be formed of suitable wood or plastic material. A generally Z-shaped metal bracket 24 presents a generally vertical web portion 24a which seats against the front side face of the shaft suspension block 23, and a rearwardly extending flange portion 24b upon which the suspension block 23 seats and is secured thereto by suitable screws. The upper forwardly extending flange portion 240 of the bracket 24 is designed to support the adjacent end of a longitudinally extending guard member 25 which protects the shaft 15 and the carriage supporting box-shaped member from exterior damage.

The vertical web portion 24a of the Z-shaped bracket 24 supports a forwardly extending collar 16 in which the adjacent end of the longitudinal shaft is contained and supported. A tubular bearing sleeve 17 seats within the collar 16 and provides bearing support for the adjacent end of the shaft. Since the shaft 15 may be subjected to some flexural strains, as well as incremental vibration from the gyratory motor or motors M-l transmitted to the shaft through the box-shaped carriage suspension member 10, the bearing sleeve 17 is preferably provided with a projecting rib 17' extending circumferentially around the medial portion thereof which bears against the inner bore of the collar 16 and permits rocking movement of the bearing sleeve 17 to accommodate incremental shaft vibrations and flexure.

When the backrest is reclined into substantially horizontal position, the occupants weight will cause a corresponding sag of the inner liner 110.0n opposite sides of the longitudinally extending webbing strip 109. The sagging movement of the liner 110 exerts corresponding pressure on the massage rollers 4 which may produce excessive massage pressure on the cushion supported occupant's back. The diamond shaped spring absorbs this excessive pressure transmitted thereto by the upper end of the carriage supporting shaft 15. To limit the degree of pressure collapse of the diamond shaped spring 20, an adjusting bolt 26 is provided whose threaded shank 26a extends through an internally threaded rubber collar 27 suitably secured to the horizontally extending leg 28a of an angular bracket 28. The vertical leg 28b of the angular bracket 28 is suitably secured as by screws to the inner face of the spacer block 22 and which screws may extend into the upper transverse frame member 102 of the cushion framework.

The lower end of the bolt shank 26a supports a resilient bumper 30 as shown in FIGS. 16 and 17 which will abut the upper face of the shaft suspension block 23 and thus limit the collapse of the diamond shaped spring 20 and the downward movement of the carriage supporting shaft 15. The outer end of the adjusting bolt 26 may extend through a metal grommet 31 provided in the backrest cover panel 115. The adjusting bolt 26 may terminate in an exposed manipulating head 2622, or the upper terminal end of the adjusting bolt 26 may be terminated within the grommet 31 and provided with a slot to which a screw driver may be applied.

Should the backrest occupant suddenly raise his body and thus suddenly relieve the diamond shaped spring 20 from the massage carriage transmitted pressure on the longitudinal shaft, the reflex of the diamond shaped spring 20 may suddenly cause expansion thereof beyond its normal configuration. To protect the diamond shaped spring 20 from sudden expansion flexure a highly resilient bumper pad 32, which may be made of sponge rubber, may be positioned directly below the shaft suspending block 23. To protect the resilient pad 32 from excessive bumper wear, a strip of tough flexible wear resistant material 33 may be secured to the upper face thereof and against which the lower inturned flange 24b of the Z-shaped bracket 24 may strike. The resilient bumper pad 32 may be supported on the forwardly extending leg 34a of an angular shelf bracket 34 and whose vertical flange 34b is secured by screws to the transverse frame member 102 of the cushion framework. Thus the adjusting bolt 26 and its terminal bumper 30, and the resilient bumper pad 32, limit both the collapsing and expansive flexure of the diamond shaped spring 20, and the movement of the adjacent end of the carriage suspension shaft 15.

The lower end of the longitudinal shaft 15 is supported by a transversely extending supporting bar 35 which may be generally angular in cross section as shown in FIGS. 18, 18A and 19. The shaft supporting bar 35 extends transversely between the lower end portions of the side frame members 101 of the cushion framework, and is pivotally and adjustably secured thereto. Adjustable securement of each end of the supporting bar 35 may be provided by an end bracket plate 35c integrally or weldably secured to the flanges 35a and 35b of the angular shaped supporting bar 35.. Each end bracket plate 35c is positioned directly adjacent the inside face of the adjacent side frame member 101, and has a transverse slot 350 formed therein. A rubber grommet 36 slidably seats within the slot 35c. A securing screw 37 extends axially through the grommet 36 and is screwed into the adjacent side frame member 101 of the cushion framework. The exposed head portion of each screw is conveniently accessible to permit adjustment of the angular shaft supporting bar 35 as desired.

The inner face of the vertical flange 35a of the adjustable shaft supporting bar 35 has a shaft supporting collar 18 welded thereto. The collar 18 contains a bearing sleeve 19 into the end portion of the shaft 15 extends and is rotatably joumalled. To accommodate shaft flexure and incremental vibrations transmitted to the lower end of the shaft 15, the bearing sleeve 19 may be provided with a circumferentially extending outer rib 19 at the approximate mid section thereof which bears against the bore surface of the collar 18.

When the massage carriage and its associated boxshaped suspension member is positioned adjacent the lower end of the shaft 15,-the horizontally extending shaft supporting bar 35 is adjusted by manipulating the securing screws 37 at the ends thereof so that the massage rollers 4 will firmly contact the lower portion of the inner liner 110, when the backrest is unoccupied I and no body pressure is exerted thereagainst. When the massage carriage and associated box-shaped suspension member 10 is positioned adjacent the upper end of the shaft 15, the spring'supporting spacer plate 22 and the adjusting bolt supporting bracket 28 are secured to the inside face of the transversely extending upper frame member 102 of the framework in a manner so that the massage rollers 4 will make light pressure contact with the upper portion of the inner liner 110 of the cushion. With these adjustments, the diamond shaped spring 20 and its shaft supporting block 23 will flex in accordance with the inclined position of the backrest and body weight exerted against the cushion, and thus permit movement of the upper end of the spring suspended shaft in accordance to body weight applied to the cushioning. The transversely extending shaft supporting bar 35 at the lower end of the shaft, will also pivot on the securing screws 37 and associated rubber grommets 36 as required by the movement of the upper end of the shaft.

It will be appreciated that the position of the shaft t supporting bar at the lower'end of the shaft 15, and the shaft supporting spring 20 and associated devices above described, may be interchanged in position if desired.

The Massage Carriage Reciprocating Mechanism sal in the direction of shaft rotation to propel the mas-' sage carriage and its box-shaped suspending member 10 from the upper end to the lower end of the shaft, such an arrangement would require a heavily burdened reversing motor and complicated switching mechanism. In another case, reverse rotation of the shaft 15 could be effected by the use of a one way motor or two motors made to rotate in opposite directions, but such an assembly would require complicated and often troublesome shift devices and shiftable gearing to effect rot6 lindrical hub 40d which may be made an integral part of the gear box 40b. The rotor shaft of the motor has a downwardly extending shaft extension 402 to which a motor cooling fan 40f is secured.

The motor unit M-3 is downwardly suspended from a motor support plate 41 as shown in FIGS. 19 and 21 which may be generally square in form. The motor support plate 41 supports three resilient and flexible mounts 42 made of suitable rubber positioned adjacent to three corners of the motor support plate 41, Each resilient mount may present a cylindrical body 42 having a cushioning flange 42 and a contracted connecting neck 42". Two of the diametrically opposite mounts 42a and 42b have their cushioning flanges 42" seating against the inner side of the motor support plate as shown in FIG. 21, with the contracted necks 42' thereof extending through circular holes in the support plate 41. As thus assembled, the opposite corners of the support plate 41 are cushioned between the resilient flanges 42" of the mounts 42a and 42b and the cylindrical body sections 42 of the mounts 42a and 4221. A securing bolt 43 extends through the perimetal portion of the gear box 40b and each of the mounts 42a and 42b. The mounts 42a and 42b are compressed by a bolt nut 43' applied to the projection end of each bolt 43 and the associated washer 43a which seats against the exposed face of the cushioning flange 42" of each mount 42a and 42b.

It will be noted by referring to FIGS. 19 and 21 that the third resilient and flexible mount 42c is connected to the vertical flange 35a of the transverse shaft supporting bar 35. In this case, the securing bolt 43 associated with the third mount 420 extends through a hole in the flange 35a, with its bolt nut 43 and associated washer 43a clamping the flange 35a between the bolt washer 43a and the cushioning flange 42" of that mount 42c.

A relatively short bearing sleeve 44- is seated within a conforming hole formed in the center of the motor support plate 42 and a corresponding aligned hole in the vertical flange 35a of the transverse supporting bar 35. An end portion 15a of the shaft 15 projects into the adjacent end of the bearing sleeve 44, and the shaft end portion 15a is provided with a reduced diameter shaft extension 15b as shown in FIG. 18.

A flexible coupling unit 45 flexibly connects the reduced diameter gear box shaft 40c to the reduced ditation of the shaft in opposite directions when the carriage suspension member 10 arrives at the upper end and the'lower end of the suspension shaft 15.

In the preferred form of this invention, the shaft 15 is continuously rotated in one direction only by a motor assembly unit M-3 which embraces an electric motor 40a and an associated speed reducer contained in a gear box 40b as shown in FIGS. 20 and 21. The gear box 40b presents a reduced diameter output shaft 40c of limited length which rotates withinan enlarged cy- 'ameter end extension 15b of the suspension shaft 15.

This flexible coupling unit 45 may comprise three independent sections 45a, 45b and 450 as shown in FIGS. 19 and 20. One of the coupling sections 450 presents a deformed hole in the center thereof which telescopes over the deformed stub shaft 400 extending from the gear box 40b. This coupling section 45a presents three axially extending lugs 45a as shown in FIG. 20. The companion coupling section 45b has a deformed axial hole which telescopes over the deformed and reduced diameter end extension 15b of the longitudinal shaft as shown in FIGS. 18 and 19 and presents three spaced axially extending lugs 45b. The third component 450 of the flexible coupling unit 45 comprises a coupling spider having laterally flared lugs 45c which interfit between and interlock with the spaced lugs 45a of the coupling section 45a and the spaced lugs 45b of the coupling section 45b. The interlocking spider 450 is made from a suitable tough and wear resistant plastic having sufficient resiliency to absorb coupling shock and incremental vibration of the reduced diameter and extension 15b of the suspension shaft 15.

The electric motor 40a and its associated speed reducing gearing in the gear box 40b are designed to rotate the suspension shaft 15 at a very slow speed of only a few revolutions per second, and preferably only approximately one revolution per second. The motor supporting assembly as above described is flexibly and resiliently suspended from the adjacent outer face of the vertical flange 35a of the suspension bar 35; and as thus mounted, the shaft rotating unit M-3 does not interfere with massage carriage movement substantially down to the lower end of the suspension shaft 15, and is also flexible and resiliently cushioned to insure lasting life to the drive unit.

Various mechanisms may be provided for slowly reciprocating the massage carriage and its associated suspension member along the shaft as it continuously rotates in one direction only. This reciprocating mechanism may comprise a linear actuator construction as illustrated in FIGS. 22, 23 and 24 and which is associated with the carriage suspension member 10. The carriage suspension member 10 is preferably formed as a hollow shell or box presenting a top wall 10a, end walls Nib, and side walls 10c from whose lower edges the laterally flared foot flanges 11 extend. The suspension shaft 15 extends through the end walls 10b of the carriage suspension box, and the opposite end walls 10b support a pair of shaft receiving collars 13 which may be welded or otherwise secured thereto. Each collar 13 contains a self aligning bearing sleeve 14 in which the shaft is journalled, and each bearing sleeve 14 presents a circumferentially extending rib 14' as shown is FIG. 24 which is supported by the inner wall surface of the collar 13.

The linear actuator presents a pair of rollers 50a and 50?) which are contained within the suspension box 10 and are positioned on diametrically opposite sides of the longitudinal shaft 15 as shown in FIG. 23. Each of the rollers 50a and Stlb presents an inner race 50' which is fixed to the roller shaft 51 and a ball bearing supported outer race 50" whose periphery is in pressure contact with the surface of the shaft and is rotated thereby. Each roller shaft 51 is supported by spacer yoke arms formed as an integral part of a roller supporting cylinder 52 which is preferably formed of a tough, strong and wear resistant plastic having a low coefficient of friction. Each cylinder 52 is joumalled in a collar 53 projecting laterally from each side wall 100 of the suspension box 10 and the collar 53 is secured to the perimeter of the bore hole in the side wall We through which he roller supporting cylinder 52 extends.

Equal inward pressure is applied to the opposite cylinders 52 to maintain the diametrically opposite actuator rollers 50a and 50b in driven contact with the shaft 15 as it is rotated. The pressure applying means may comprise a series of spring discs 54 of dish-shaped form having axially aligned holes therein which telescope over a reduced diameter extension 52' of each roller supporting cylinder 52, with the inner disc 54 seating against the surrounding rim 52" of the cylinder. A pressure plate 55 seats against the outermost disc 54 and presents an axial hole which telescopes over the cylinder extension 52'. Two or more tie rods 56 extend through the side walls 100 of the suspension box 10 and through aligned holes in the opposite pressure plates 55. By manipulating a threaded nut 56' applied to one end of each tie rod 56, equal pressure is exerted on the spring discs 54, associated cylinders 52, and the outer races 50 of the rollers 50a and 50b and against the opposite sides of the rotatable suspension shaft 15.

Means are provided for rocking the roller supporting cylinders 52 in opposite directions through an angle of approximately 30, and which thereby tilts the rollers 50a and 50b in opposite directions. When the plane of both rollers 50a and 50b extend at a true right angle to the longitudinal axis of the shaft 15, the carriage suspension box will remain stationary. When the plane of roller 50a is tilted to the position shown by line r-r, and the plane of the opposite roller 50b is tilted to the position indicated by line s-s as shown in FIG. 24, the paired shaft contacting rollers will drive the carriage suspension box in one direction along the shaft 15. When the plane of roller 50a is tilted to the position indicated by line s-s, and the opposite roller 50b is tilted to the position indicated by line rr, as shown in FIG. 24, the paired rollers will propel the carriage suspension box 10 in the opposite direction.

Opposite tilting movement of the rollers 50a and 50b and their associated roller supported cylinders 52 is effected by a pair of tilting pins 57, respectively secured within a diametrical bore in each cylinder. Each of the pins 57 present a projecting extension which terminates in a ball-shaped formation 57, both of which extend substantially in the plane of the top wall 10a of the carriage suspension box 10. Means are provided for tilting the paired pins 57 in opposite directions through an angle of approximately 30. The pin tilting means comprises a shift plate 58, as shown in FIGS. 22 and 23, journalled on a pin or rivet 59 secured to the axial center of the box top wall 10a. A pair of washers 59a and 5% are positioned on the opposite sides of the shift plate 58 and journalled on the shank of the pin 59 to insure smooth swinging movement of the shift plate 58.

One pair of diametrically opposite corners of the substantially square shift plate 58 have end portions which support inverted saddles 60 which telescope over and receive the spherical end portions 57' of the opposite tilt pins 57 as shown in FIGS. 22 and 23. The other pair of diametrically opposite corners of the shift plate 58 support laterally extending shift rods 61a and 61b preferably formed from plastic of low friction coefficient. The opposite ends of the suspension shaft 15 present cam collars 62a and 621), as shown in FIGS. 25B and 25D, each of which is provided with a laterally extending can lug 62 designed to engage the adjacent shift rod when the carriage supporting box 10 approaches the end of its upward or downward travel.

When the switch rods 61a and 61b are inclined along line s-s for a distance of approximately 15 from the neutral line nn, which is parallel to the longitudinal axis to the shaft 15 as shown in FIGS. 22 and 25A, the tilt pins 57 and the paired rollers 50a and 50b will be correspondingly tilted in opposite directions, to thereby drive the carriage suspension box 10 in the direction t and toward the can 62b fixed to one end of the shaft as shown in FIG. 258. As the inclined shift rod 61b moves in the direction t across the circular surface portion 62" of the cam 62b, its cam log 62' would be expected to strike the shift rod 61b and swing it to the inclined position rr as shown in FIG. 35C.

To be fully effective, accurate synchronization between the striking face of the cam lug 62 of cams 62b and 62a, and the linear travel speed of the carriage suspending box would be required, to avoid movement of the shift rod short of the circular surface cam 62"; or to avoid movement of the shaft rod over the circular cam surface 62" for more than its length. To avoid exact synchronization of travel movement of the carriage suspension box 10 with the rotative speed of the shaft and its cams 62a and 62b, additional means are preferably provided to swing the shift rods 61a and 61b from inclined position to neutral position nn, when further longitudinal movement of the carriage supporting box 10 comes to a stop; because the plane of the paired rollers Stla and 5012 are then positioned along neutral line n-n and at a true right angle to the longitudinal axis of the rotating shaft 15.

To shift the paired rollers 50a and 50b from tilted position to neutral position n-n, a wire cord 63 is provided which loosely extends longitudinally of the cushion framework, with one end thereof secured to the extended end of the flange 240 of the shaft supporting Z bracket 24, and its other end secured to the transverse shaft supporting bar 35 as indicated in FIG. 8. The upper end of the wire cord 63 has an abutment stop 63a secured thereto in properly spaced relation to the cam 62a, and an abutment stop 63b secured to the other end of the wire cord 63 in proper spaced relation to the cam 62b. The loosely suspended wire cord 63 extends freely and in a non-binding manner through an eyelet ring 64 supported by a U-shaped yoke 64' having a stern portion fixed to one of the inverted saddles 60 which is adjacent to the wire cord 63.

When the carriage suspension box 10 moves in the direction t, as shown in FIG. A, and approaches the cam 62b, the eyelet 64 will move into abutment against the abutment stop 63b and swing the shift plate 58 and associated shift rod 61b to neutral position n-n, and parallel to the longitudinal axis of the rotating shaft 15. The traveling carriage supporting box 10 will then stop and become stationary, and the shift rod 61b will then overhand the circular surface 62" of the cam 62b. The cam lug 62 will then strike the shift rod 61b in its neutral position and swing the rod 62b into the inclined position rr, as shown in FIG. 25C, at some point during rotation of the cam 62b.

When the shift plate 58 and associated shift rods 61a and 61b have been swung to the position r--r as shown in FIG. 35C by the action of the cam 62b, the carriage suspension box it will travel in the opposite direction u and toward the shaft fixed cam 62a. As the carriage suspension box 10 and the shift arm 62a approaches the rotating cam 62a, the shift plate supported eyelet ring 64 will strike the abutment stop 63a and swing the shift plate and its associated shift rod 610 to the neutral position nn shown in FIG. 251), which will halt further advance movement of the carriage suspension box 10; and there dwell until the cam lug 62' of cam 62a strikes the end of the neutrally positioned shift rod 61a and swings the shift rod 61a to the inclined position s--s shown in FIG. 25A. The carriage suspension box 10 will then travel towards the cam 62b at the opposite end of the rotating shaft 15.

Experience has shown that the most desirable massage action is obtained when the carriage suspension box 10 travels along the rotating shaft 15 at approximately 1 inch per second and not more than 2 inches per second. This is effected by regulating the rotative speed of the shaft 15 to one or two revoiutions per second; and/or regulating the travel speed of the carriage supporting box 10 by a corresponding adjustment of the swing angle of the shift plate 58 which in turn adjusts the degree of tilt of the opposite box driving roll ers 50a and 50b. In other words, the degree of tilt of the opposite rollers 50a and 50b is controlled by the angular degree of tilt delivered to the tilt pins 57 as imposed thereon by the angular swing of the shift plate 58.

It has been found that when the angular swing of the shift plate 58 and the corresponding arcuate tilt of the tilt pins 5'7 is approximately 15 on opposite sides of the neutral line n--n, or a total movement of 30, traveling movement of the carriage suspension box 10 on the rotating shaft 15 is approximately 1 inch per second when the shaft rotates at approximately one revolution per second. A lower or a greater linear speed of travel of the carriage suspension box 10 may be obtained by reducing or increasing the rotative speed of the shaft 15, and/or by changing the angular swing of the shift plate 58. Such modifications may require a corresponding change in the diameter of the circular section 62 of the cams 62a and 62b to insure proper engagement of the cam lugs 62 with the approaching shift rods 61a and 61b.

POWER CIRCUITRY AND ELECTRIC CONTROLS The control panel 65, as shown in FIGS. 1, 3 and 4, supports the time clock or timer TC, the electronic onoff switches 8-1, 8-2, S-3'and S-4 and variable speed controls SO] and SC-2; all connected by circuitry extending through a terminal block TB as shown in FIG. 4 and a junction box IE as shown in FIG. 2, to the vibratory motor assembly M-l associated with the massage carriage, the vibratory motor assembly M-2 attached to the supporting springs of the extensible footrest, the motorized driving unit M-S which slowly rotates the carriage suspension shaft 15, and the electric heat pad HP positioned between the body suporting cushioning slab 105 andupholstery covering 106.

The connecting circuitry as diagrammatically illustrated in FIG. 5, presents a lead a extending from the carriage supported vibratory motor assembly M-l into the junction box IE and there detachably connected by lead 70b to a binding post in the terminal block TB,-and thence connected by lead 700 to the variable speed control SC-l, and thence connected by lead 700! to the positive side of the on-off switch S-l. By a finger manipulation of the control knob S-l' on the exposed front side of the control panel 65, the on-off switch S-ll mounted on the backside of the control panel 65, throws the vibratory motor assembly M-l into and out of operation; and by manipulating the sliding knob SC-l' of the variable speed control resistor $01, the rotating speed of the vibratory motor assembly M-ll can be varied as desired.

The vibratory motor unit M-2 in the footrest is connected by lead 71a to a'connecting junction in the junction box JB, thence connected by lead 71b to a binding post in the terminal block TB, thence connected by lead 710 to the variable speed control resistor SC-Z, and thence by lead 71d to the positive side of the on-off switch S-2. By a finger manipulation of its control knob S-2' on the front side of the control panel 65, the on-off switch S-2 mounted on the backside of the control panel 65, throws the vibratory motor unit M-2 into and out of operation; and by manipulating the sliding knob SC-2' of the speed control resistor SC-2, the rotating speed of the vibratory motor unit M-2 may be varied as desired.

The shaft rotating motor unit M-3 is connected by lead 72a to a connecting junction in the junction box JB, thence connected by lead 72b to a binding post in the terminal block TB, and thence connected by lead 720 and 72d to the positive side of the on-ofi switch S-3. By a finger manipulation of its control knob 8-3, the shaft rotating motor unit M-3 may be thrown into an operation at any time, and if desired may be manipulated to halt the travel of the massage carriage at any point along the shaft to give residence massage to any body area of the person occupying the backrest or massage table.

The heating wires of the heat pad HP are connected by lead 73a to a connecting junction in the junction box JB, thence by lead 73b to a binding post in the terminal block TB, and thence by lead 730 and 73:1 to the positive side of the on-off switch 8-4. By manipulating its control knob S-4, the heat pad HP may be energized or de-energized as desired.

The time period of operation of the heat pad HP, the shaft rotating motor unit M-3, vibratory motor unit M-2 in the footrest, and the carriage supported vibratory motor unit M-l, is controlled as desired by an electrically operated timing clock TC as shown in FIGS. 3, 4 and 5, which presents a finger manipulated control disc TC accessible on the front side of the control panel 65 and which can be set as desired to fix the period of massage treatment. Alternating current voltage, such as 110 volts, is supplied by power input cable 66 as shown in FIGS. 2 and 5, whose positive input lead L-l extends to a detachable connection 74a in the junction box JB, thence by lead 74b to a binding post in the terminal block TB, and thence by power lead 740 to the positive input terminal of the timer TC.

The negative lead L-2 of the input voltage extends to a detachable connection 75a in the junction box JB, thence by lead 75b to a binding post in the terminal block TB, and thence by lead 750 to the negative terminal of the timer TC. The negative terminal of the timer TC is also connected by lead 76a to a common lead 76b which is connected to the negative sides of all of the onoff switches 8-1, 5-2, 8-3 and 8-4, as shown in FIG. 5. The negative connecting junction 75a in the junction box JB is also detachably connected to the negative lead 77a to the vibratory motor unit M-ll, the negative lead 78a to the vibratory motor unit M-2, and the negative lead 79a to the shaft rotating driving unit M-3.

While the cushion occupant is under treatment by the traveling massager assembly of this invention, other parts of his body may be massaged by a vibratory hand unit whose power supply cord may be plugged into a receptacle 80 conveniently located adjacent to junction box J B located at the rear and near the bottom end of the backrest, as shown in FIGS. 2 and 5. The receptacle 80 has a positive lead 80a which makes junction connectionwithin the junction box 113 to the positive power input lead L-l of the power input line. The negative lead 80b of the receptacle 80 makes junction connection within the junction box .lB to the negative power input lead L-2, as shown in FIG. 5.

The circuitry above described and illustrated in FIG. 5, permits individual operating control for any selected time period of the heat pad HP only, the carriage supported vibratory motor unit M-l only, the footrest supported vibratory motor unit M-2 only, the massage carriage reciprocating motor unit M-3 only, and the auxilliary massaging unit only when plugged into the receptacle 80. It will also be noted that any selected combination of these various massaging devices may be placed in operation simultaneously under the timing control of the timer TC.

OPERATION The carriage suspension shaft 15 is leveled within the cushioning framework 10 by securing the spacer plate 22 which supports the resilient hanger 20 to the adjacent transverse frame member 102 of the framework so that the adjacent end of the shaft 15 as supported by the hanger 20 will place the massage rollers 4, when moved adjacent to the hanger 20, in firm contact with the inner liner of the cushioning A. The massage carriage B is then moved to the lower end of the shaft 15, and the transverse support bar 35 is adjustedto place the massage rollers 4 in firm contact with the inner liner 110 of the cushioning. These adjustments are usually made at the factory without occupant pressure on the cushioning, for the purpose of taking care of possible variations in the normal inward sag of the cushioning, as may occur in individual traveling massager assemblies as they leave the production line.

The traveling massager assembly of this invention incorporates a series of means and devices for maintaining substantially uniform massaging pressure against the opposite side areas 110a and 110b of the inner liner 110 of the cushion A as the massage carriage slowly reciprocates along the shaft 15; and to compensate for the varying weights of different cushion occupants and the different postures of the person occupying the cushion in its various positions of inclination.

When the switch knob 8-3 of the on-off switch 5-3 is closed, the shaft rotating drive unit M-3 slowly reciprocates the massage carriage B with the resilient massage rollers 4 thereof in uniform pressure contact with the opposite side areas 110:; and 11% of the inner liner 110 of the cushion A, regardless of the degree of sag of the side portions 110a and 110!) as induced by the weight and/or posture of the cushion occupant. This result is obtained by flexural movement of the massage rollers 4 in a direction at right angles to the plane of the inner liner 110. Responsive flexure of the massage rollers 4 in a direction at right angles to the plane of the inner liner 110, results from (a) resiliency of the rollers 4; (b) resiliency of the mounts 12; and (c) the resiliency of the shaft supporting hanger 20.

Unequal degrees of sag between the side portions 110a and 11012 of the inner liner 110 is compensated for by (d) the swiveling action of the carriage suspension member lit) on the shaft 15 and a corresponding tilt of the carriage baseplate 1 along its longitudinal axis x-x, by (e) the flexure of the resilient mounts l2, and (f) the flexure of the resilient rollers 4.

When the undulating body of the cushion occupant causes the side portions 110a and lltlb of the inner liner to sag in longitudinal extending undulating contours, the resilient rollers 4 on opposite sides of the shaft 5 will respond and track along the undulating contour of the liner 110 with uniform pressure, by (g) imposing a tilting movement of the carriage baseplate 1 in the direction of its transverse axis yy. This transverse tilt of the baseplate l is permitted by lateral flexure of the spaced suspension mounts 12..

Claims (26)

1. A massage carriage operative to apply therapeutic massage to a cushion supported body, which includes: a relatively rigid supporting plate; a massage roller supporting frame which presents a U-shaped center portion rigidly secured to said supporting plate, a side leg portion extending angularly from each end of said center portion and which overhangs a side edge of said supporting plate in cantilever suspension, and a pair of axle forming portions extending laterally from said side leg portions and in a direction substantially parallel and in spaced relation to the adjacent side edge of said supporting plate; a resilient massage roller rotatably journalled on each of the axle forming portions of said supporting frame; a vibratory motor fixed to said supporting plate and operative to transmit massage vibrations through said supporting plate and roller supporting frame to the massage rollers journalled on the axle portions thereof; a carriage supporting member positioned in spaced relation to said supporting plate; and a pair of resilient and flexible mounts connecting said carriage supporting member to said supporting plate, said mounts being flexibly responsive to the degree of pressure exerted on the massage rollers by the cushion supported body, and also operative to at least partially insulate said carriage supporting member from the vibrations produced by said vibratory motor.
2. A massage carriage as defined in claim 1 and wherein said side leg portions which overhang a side edge of said supporting plate are transversely inclined with respect to the plane of said supporting plate.
3. A massage carriage as defined in claim 1 and wherein said axle forming portions of the massage roller supporting frame are longitudinally inclined with respect to the plane of said supporting plate.
4. A massage carriage as defined in claim 1 and wherein said vibratory motor is secured to one end of said supporting plate in spaced relation to said carriage supporting member with the axis of said motor extending transversely of said supporting plate.
5. A massage carriage as defined in claim 1 and wherein each of said resilient massage rollers embraces a tubular sleeve formed from a material of low friction coefficient which extends axially through the roller body and journalled on an axle forming portion of said roller supporting frame, the surrounding resilient body of said roller embracing said tubular sleeve presenting a plurality of spaced and generally rounded portions of substantially equal diameter with adjacent rounded portions connected by a neck portion of smaller diameter.
6. A massage carriage as defined in claim 1 and wherein each of said massage rollers embraces a tubular sleeve formed from a material of low friction coefficient which extends axially through the roller body and is journalled on an axle forming portion of said roller supporting frame, an intermediate member formed from highly resilient and flexible material surrounding said tubular sleeve, and an outer roller body of resilient material surrounding and bonded to said intermediate member.
7. A massage carriage operative to apply therapeutic massage to a cushion supported body, which includes: a relatively rigid supporting plate; a massage roller supporting frame which presents a U-shaped center portion rigidly secured to said supporting plate, a pair of side leg portions extending transversely from the ends of said center portion and respectively overhand the same side edge of said supporting plate in cantilever suspension, and a pair of axle forming portions extending laterally in opposite directions from the respective ends of said side leg portions and also substantially parallel and in spaced relation to the adjacent side edge of said supporting plate; a resilient massaGe roller rotatably journalled on each of the axle forming portions of said supporting frame; a vibratory motor fixed to said supporting plate and operative to transmit massage vibrations through said supporting plate and roller supporting frame to the massage rollers journalled on the axle portions thereof; a carriage supporting member positioned in spaced relation to said supporting plate; and a pair of resilient and flexible mounts connecting said carriage supporting member to said supporting plate, said mounts being flexibly responsive to the degree of pressure exerted on the massage rollers by the cushion supported body, and also operative to at least partially insulate said carriage supporting member from the vibrations produced by said vibratory motor.
8. A massage carriage operative to apply therapeutic massage to a cushion supported body, which includes: a relatively rigid supporting plate; a massage roller supporting frame which presents a U-shaped center portion rigidly secured to said supporting plate, a pair of side leg portions extending laterally from the respective ends of said center portion and which overhang the opposite side edges of said supporting plate in cantilever suspension, and a pair of axle forming portions extending laterally in the same direction from the respective ends of said side leg portions and also substantially parallel and in spaced relation to the opposite side edges of said supporting plate; a resilient massage roller rotatably journalled on each of the axle forming portions of said supporting frame; a vibratory motor fixed to said supporting plate and operative to transmit massage vibrations through said supporting plate and roller supporting frame to the massage rollers journalled on the axle portions thereof; a carriage supporting member positioned in spaced relation to said supporting plate; and a pair of resilient and flexible mounts connecting said carriage supporting member to said supporting plate, said mounts being flexibly responsive to the degree of pressure exerted on the massage rollers by the cushion supported body, and also operative to at least partially insulate said carriage supporting member from the vibrations produced by said vibratory motor.
9. A massage carriage as defined in claim 7 and wherein the leg forming portions of the massage roller supporting frame are laterally inclined with respect to the plane of said supporting plate, and the axle forming portions thereof are axially inclined with respect to the plane of said supporting plate.
10. A massage carriage as defined in claim 7 and wherein said vibratory motor is secured to one end of said supporting plate in spaced relation to said carriage supporting member with the axis of said motor extending transversely of said supporting plate.
11. A massage carriage as defined in claim 7 and wherein a pair of vibratory motors are secured to the opposite ends of said securing plate with the axis of said motors extending transversely of said supporting plate, said mounts being secured in spaced arrangement to the intermediate portion of said securing plate and approximately along the longitudinal centerline thereof.
12. A massage carriage as defined in claim 7 and wherein each of said resilient massage rollers embraces a tubular sleeve formed from a material of low friction coefficient which extends axially through the roller body and journalled on an axle forming portion of said roller supporting frame, the surrounding resilient body of said roller embracing said tubular sleeve and presenting a plurality of spaced and generally rounded portions of substantially equal diameter with adjacent rounded portions connected by a neck portion of smaller diameter.
13. A massage carriage as defined in claim 7 and wherein each of said massage rollers embraces a tubular sleeve formed from a material of low friction coefficient which extends axially through the roller body and is journalled on an axle forming portIon of said roller supporting frame, an intermediate member formed from highly resilient and flexible material surrounding said tubular sleeve, and an outer roller body of resilient material surrounding and bonded to said intermediate member.
14. A massage carriage operative to apply therapeutic massage to a cushion supported body, which includes: a relatively rigid supporting plate, massage rollers positioned on opposite sides of said supporting plate and in spaced relation thereto, a roller frame rigidly secured to said supporting plate which presents axle forming portions on opposite sides of said supporting plate on which said massage rollers are rotatably journalled, and a vibratory motor fixed to one end of said supporting plate with the axis of said motor extending transversely of said plate, said motor being operative to transmit massage vibrations through said supporting plate and roller supporting frame to the massage rollers journalled on the axle portions thereof; a carriage supporting box shaped member presenting a pair of laterally extending flange portions positioned in spaced relation to said supporting plate; and a pair of resilient and flexible mounts spaced along the longitudinal centerline of said supporting plate and connecting said supporting member to said supporting plate, said mounts being flexibly responsive to the degree of pressure exerted on the massage rollers by said body supporting cushion, said mounts being further operative to at least partially insulate said carriage supporting member from the vibrations transmitted by said vibratory motor;
15. A massage carriage as defined in claim 14 whose massage roller supporting framework is composed of a pair of massage roller supporting frames each shaped from an integral rod and together presenting a pair of axle forming sections positioned along each side edge of said supporting plate and in spaced relation thereto, a leg section extending transversely from the inner end of each of said axle forming sections and overhanging the adjacent side edge of said supporting plate in cantilever suspension, and a pair of U-shaped center sections rigidly secured to one side of said supporting plate with the web portions of said paired center sections positioned substantially in back to back relation and adjacent the longitudinal centerline of said supporting plate, the end portions of each U-shaped center section being integrally joined to a pair of said leg sections overhanging one side edge of said supporting plate;
16. A massage carriage as defined in claim 14 whose massage roller supporting framework is composed of a pair of massage rollers supporting frames each shaped from an integral rod and together presenting a pair of axle forming sections positioned along the opposite side edges of said supporting plate and in spaced relation thereto, a leg section extending transversely from the inner end of each of said axle forming sections and overhanging the adjacent side edge of said supporting plate in cantilever suspension, and a pair of U-shaped center sections rigidly secured to one side of said supporting plate with the web portions of said paired center sections positioned substantially in back to back relation and extending transversely of said supporting plate, the end portions of each U-shaped center section being integrally joined to a pair of leg sections overhanging the opposite side edges of said supporting plate;
17. A therapeutic massage assembly adapted to be mounted within a cushion supporting framework and operative to apply vibratory massage to a person''s body supported on the framework cushion, which includes: a massage carriage presenting a relatively rigid supporting plate, massage rollers positioned on opposite sides of said supporting plate and in spaced relation thereto, a roller supporting framework rigidly secured to said supporting plate which presents axle forming portions on opposite sides of said supporting plate on which said massage rollers arE rotatably journalled, and a vibratory motor fixed to said supporting plate and operative to transmit massage vibrations through said supporting plate and roller supporting framework to the massage rollers journalled on the axle portions thereof; a carriage supporting box shaped member positioned in spaced relation to said supporting plate; a plurality of resilient and flexible mounts connecting said carriage supporting member to said supporting plate, said mounts being flexibly responsive to the degree to pressure exerted on the massage rollers by said body supporting cushion, said mounts being further operative to at least partially insulate said carriage supporting member from the vibrations transmitted by said vibratory motor, and a shaft supported by and extending longitudinally of said cushion supporting framework, said shaft also extending through said carriage supporting member and providing swivel support for said massage carriage.
18. A therapeutic massage assembly as defined in claim 17 which further includes driving means for slowly reciprocating said box shaped member and the massage carriage supported thereby along said longitudinally extending shaft.
19. A therapeutic massage assembly as defined in claim 17 which further includes a driving unit for continuously rotating said shaft in one direction, means associated with said shaft and said carriage supporting member for slowly reciprocating said member and the massage carriage supported thereby along substantially the entire length of said longitudinally extending shaft.
20. A therapeutic massage assembly as defined in Claim 17 which further includes spring means connected to said cushion framework for resiliently supporting one end of said shaft, and means pivotally connected to said cushion framework for supporting the other end of said shaft.
21. A therapeutic massage assembly as defined in claim 17 which further includes a driving unit embracing an electric motor and associated speed reducer whose output shaft is operative to rotate at relatively low speed, a flexible coupling connecting said output shaft to one end of said longitudinal shaft, a collar supported by said cushion framework at each end of said longitudinal shaft, and a bearing sleeve telescoped over each end of said longitudinal shaft, said bearing sleeves being rockably supported within said collars.
22. A massage assembly for applying therapeutic massage to a person''s body which includes: a body supporting structure which includes a generally rectangular supporting framework, a strong and flexible fabric extending over said framework and whose perimeter is secured to said framework, a highly resilient cushioning slab supported on the outer face of said fabric, upholstery material covering the outer face of said slab and whose perimeter is secured to said framework, and an inner liner formed of tough and flexible material secured to the inner surface of said fabric; a massage carriage presenting a relatively rigid supporting plate, massage rollers positioned on opposite sides of said supporting plate and in spaced relation thereto, a roller frame rigidly secured to said supporting plate which presents axle forming portions on opposite sides of said supporting plate on which said massage rollers are rotatably journalled, and a vibratory motor fixed to said supporting plate and operative to transmit massage vibrations through said supporting plate and roller supporting frame to the massage rollers journalled on the axle portions thereof; and means for supporting said massage carriage with the massage rollers thereof in pressure responsive contact with said liner in accordance with the body pressure exerted on said cushioning slab and delivered to said inner liner, said means including a shaft supported by and extending longitudinally of said supporting framework, a carriage supporting member telescoped over and swivelled on said shaft, and a plurality of resilient and flexible mounts connecting said cArriage supporting member to said supporting plate and operative to at least partially insulate said carriage supporting member and shaft from the vibrations transmitted by said vibrating motor.
23. A massage assembly as defined in claim 22 and wherein said massage carriage presents a pair of roller supporting axle forming portions on each side of said supporting plate whose adjacent inner ends are joined to a pair of transversely spaced leg portions secured in cantilever suspension to said supporting plate, said spaced leg portions being positioned on opposite sides of said longitudinal shaft and extending substantially parallel thereto.
24. A massage assembly as defined in claim 22 and wherein said massage carriage embraces two pairs of roller supporting axle portions with one pair of said axle portions positioned on one side of side longitudinal shaft and said second pair of axle portions positioned on the other side of said longitudinal shaft, said flexible mounts being positioned in spaced relation substantially along the centerline of said supporting plate with at least one mount positioned on one side of said longitudinal shaft and another mount positioned on the opposite side of said longitudinal shaft, said mounts being operable to permit rocking flexure of the massage rollers positioned on one side of said supporting plate with respect to the massage rollers positioned on the other side of said supporting plate, said carriage supporting member as swivelled on said longitudinal shaft being operable to permit rocking flexure of the paired massage rollers on one side of said shaft with respect to the paired rollers on the other side of said shaft.
25. A massage assembly as defined in claim 22 whose body supporting structure includes a strip of upholstery webbing positioned between said fabric and said highly resilient cushioning slab, said webbing strip extending along the approximate longitudinal centerline of said slab with the ends of said strip secured to said framework.
26. A traveling massager assembly which embraces in operative combination: a body supporting cushion having a hammock forming sheet of strong and flexible material secured at its perimeter to a supporting framework, and a relatively thick slab of highly resilient padding having efficient vibration transmitting capabilities supported by said hammock forming sheet without framework attached springs; a suspension shaft extending longitudinally of the cushioning framework along the approximate centerline of the hammock forming sheet, and means for resiliently and adjustably suspending the ends of said shaft from the cushioning framework; a massage carriage embracing a series of resilient massage rollers on opposite sides of said shaft and positioned in rolling contact with a tough and flexible inner liner secured to the hammock forming sheet, said massage rollers being resiliently supported in cantilever suspension by a roller supporting framework whose center sections are rigidly secured to a supporting baseplate, and a vibratory motor unit fixed to one end of said baseplate and operative when energized to transmit massage vibrations to said rollers through the baseplate and roller supporting framework; a carriage suspension member rockably journalled on said shaft, and a pair of resilient and flexible mounts secured to said suspension member and to the baseplate in spaced relation along the approximate centerline thereof; and driving mechanism for slowly reciprocating the carriage suspension member along said shaft.
US3736920A 1971-03-18 1971-03-18 Traveling massager assembly Expired - Lifetime US3736920A (en)

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CA (1) CA967840A (en)
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US4686967A (en) * 1984-12-19 1987-08-18 Matsushita Electric Works, Ltd. Rocking massage chair
US5020518A (en) * 1990-02-09 1991-06-04 Integrity Health Systems Corporation Travelling roller massage apparatus
US5094225A (en) * 1990-01-22 1992-03-10 Thomas Craw Portable back massager
US5327886A (en) * 1992-08-18 1994-07-12 Chiu Cheng Pang Electronic massage device with cold/hot compress function
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US6511448B1 (en) * 1996-05-27 2003-01-28 Sanyo Electric Co., Ltd. Massage machine of chair type
US20040049136A1 (en) * 2002-09-09 2004-03-11 Cheng-Hsien Lin Electric massage device
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US20050193495A1 (en) * 2004-02-20 2005-09-08 Harris Kenneth D.Jr. Foldable massaging bed rest
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Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US4191177A (en) * 1978-08-02 1980-03-04 Tony Abbott Massage apparatus
US4686967A (en) * 1984-12-19 1987-08-18 Matsushita Electric Works, Ltd. Rocking massage chair
US5094225A (en) * 1990-01-22 1992-03-10 Thomas Craw Portable back massager
US5020518A (en) * 1990-02-09 1991-06-04 Integrity Health Systems Corporation Travelling roller massage apparatus
US5330416A (en) * 1991-05-28 1994-07-19 France Bed Co., Ltd. Rolling massage apparatus with vibratory support
US5327886A (en) * 1992-08-18 1994-07-12 Chiu Cheng Pang Electronic massage device with cold/hot compress function
US5462516A (en) * 1993-12-29 1995-10-31 Niagara Therapy Manufacturing, Inc. Cyclical action massaging chair
US5755677A (en) * 1994-07-12 1998-05-26 France Bed Co., Ltd. Massaging apparatus having massage rollers rotatably mounted on traveling unit
US5876358A (en) * 1995-01-30 1999-03-02 Goebel; Dieter Therapeutic device and arrangement for treating paravertebrae
US6511448B1 (en) * 1996-05-27 2003-01-28 Sanyo Electric Co., Ltd. Massage machine of chair type
US6814709B2 (en) * 2000-06-16 2004-11-09 Brookstone Purchasing, Inc. Massaging bed rest cushion with light
US20040049136A1 (en) * 2002-09-09 2004-03-11 Cheng-Hsien Lin Electric massage device
US20040106882A1 (en) * 2002-11-29 2004-06-03 Chin-Chun Tseng Kneading massage structure
US7361917B2 (en) * 2003-02-26 2008-04-22 Katsuko Yabiku Far-infrared generator for thermotherapy and method of far-infrared irradiation
US20060226378A1 (en) * 2003-02-26 2006-10-12 Katsuko Yabiku Far-infrared generator for thermotherapy and method of far-infrared irradiation
US20050193495A1 (en) * 2004-02-20 2005-09-08 Harris Kenneth D.Jr. Foldable massaging bed rest
US7328470B2 (en) 2004-02-20 2008-02-12 Brookstone Purchasing, Inc. Foldable massaging bed rest
US20080229504A1 (en) * 2004-02-20 2008-09-25 Kenneth David Harris Foldable massaging bed rest
US20080030053A1 (en) * 2006-08-01 2008-02-07 Sanyo Electric Co., Ltd. Massage machine of chair type
US7828756B2 (en) * 2006-08-01 2010-11-09 Sanyo Electric Co., Ltd. Massage machine of chair type
US20140323933A9 (en) * 2006-08-15 2014-10-30 Innovative Standards, Inc. Massaging system and method
EP2459144A1 (en) * 2009-07-31 2012-06-06 FKA Distributing Co. d/b/a/ Homedics, Inc. Vibratory carriage massager
EP2459144A4 (en) * 2009-07-31 2012-12-26 Fka Distributing Dba Homedics Vibratory carriage massager
US20150257962A1 (en) * 2014-03-11 2015-09-17 Eric Shannon Hands-free ball massage device
US20160136040A1 (en) * 2014-11-14 2016-05-19 Muchun LI Multi-functional massage mechanical core for simulating impacts and vibrations of water jets and corresponding massage products

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NL7203644A (en) 1972-09-20 application
DE2212454C3 (en) 1975-01-09 grant
GB1348874A (en) 1974-03-27 application
FR2130208B1 (en) 1976-10-29 grant
BE780785A (en) 1972-09-18 grant
CA967840A (en) 1975-05-20 grant
NL154663B (en) 1977-10-17 application
CA967840A1 (en) grant
FR2130208A1 (en) 1972-11-03 application
DE2212454B2 (en) 1974-05-22 application
BE780785A1 (en) grant
DE2212454A1 (en) 1972-09-28 application

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