This invention relates to a therapeutic appliance in the form of a chair having adjustable side arms and means for setting one or more portions of the chair into sustained vibrations which may be transmitted to the body of the user.
According to the present invention, there is provided a chair having a divided seat, each portion of which carries a back rest and an arm somewhat resiliently connected thereto, and which arm may be adjusted vertically and radially so that it may be brought against various portions of the body. Provision is also made to incorporate in each section of the chair a vibratory device capable of developing sustained periodic vibrations of controllable intensity, and of a character having a beneficial massaging action. A typical embodiment of the invention is illustrated in the accompanying drawing, wherein: Fig. 1 is a top plan of the chair; Fig. 2 is a front elevation; Pig. 3 is a side elevation with a portion broken away to show the suspension of the seat; Fig. 4 is a section taken on the line 4-4 of Fig. 1, drawn on an enlarged scale and further showing the suspension; Fig. 5 is an enlarged fragmentary view as seen from the line 5-5 in Fig. 1, further showing the resilient connection of the side arm; Fig. 6 is an enlarged section taken on the line 6-6 of Fig. 2; Fig. 7 is a section taken substantially on the line 7-7 of Fig. 5; and Pig. 8 is a view of the motor mounting, taken substantially on the line 8-8 of Fig. 7.
Referring initially to Figs. 1, 2, and 3, the chair comprises a frame having side rails II and front and back rails 12, together with legs 13 at the four corners, and which are joined together in any desired approved manner to provide a sturdy foundation. This frame provides a support for two seat sections 14 and 15, each of which extends from the back rail to just beyond the front rail where it is provided with a depending apron 16.
These sections are slightly spaced from each other, and from the rails, as indicated by the numerals 17 and 18. Each seat is provided with an upright, rigidly connected back member, 19 and 21 respectively, advantageously formed with a substantially vertical rear panel 22, tapered side panels 23, and an inclined front panel 24.
These panels are interconnected, and are secured to the seat sections, according to the usual practices of the cabinetmaker's art.
Each of the outer side panels 23 is equipped with a vertical tubular post 25, which is supported by means of upper and lower spacer blocks 26 and through bolts 27, as further shown in Fig. 6.
Each post constitutes a mounting member for a side arm 31, 32, through the medium of a bracket plate 33. The side arms are formed as hollow box-like members having a generally kidneyshaped contour, with the concave inner surfaces of appreciable height, so that they may be drawn up snugly against a fairly large area of the body.
The bracket plates 33 are secured by screws 34 to the outer panels 35 of the arms, and they are provided with elongated collars 36 at their ends to encircle the posts 25.
As shown in Fig. 7, the collar portions 36 fit around the posts 25 for practically the entire circumference, and each collar is formed with a lug 37 of reduced height, disposed substantially parallel to the bracket 33, and tapped to receive the threaded end of a thumb screw 38 which passes through an aperture drilled in the bracket on its outer surface. The thumb screw may be loosened to adjust the side arm in both radial and vertical directions, and then tightened to retain the arm in place. Accordingly, the arm may be positioned over practically all portions of the body between the shoulders and hips, while the patient sits comfortably in the chair.
Each of the side arms 31 and 32 has mounted within its cavity a vibrator whose action imparts ,, activating motion to the connected back and seat members. As herein shown, the vibrator comprises a small electric motor 41 having unbalanced weights 42 attached to the blades 43 of fans mounted on the ends of the motor shaft 44. The motor is mounted in a split circular strap 45 which grips the casing through rubber pads 46, and the ends of the strap are connected to a plate 47 by screws 48-the plate in turn being secured to the inner face of the bracket 33 by screws 49. In order to provide for this mounting, the arm panel 35 is cut away to provide a slot 51. Cooling of the motor is effected by circulating air, which may flow through a screen 52 positioned in the end portion 53 of the arm.
The motors 41 are energized by current supplied through wires 55 leading to rheostat switches 56 accessibly mounted on a panel 57 positioned on one of the side rails 11. The panel S7 may also support a timer 58, by means of which the length of treatment may be automatically controlled. It is highly desirable to provide individual controls for the motors, so that, by small adjustments of the current supplied to each, their generated vibratory impulses may be brought into synchronism. Otherwise, unavoidable variations in the mechanical loads on the motors would cause them to generate vibrations so out of phase as to jar the patient and thus minimize the benefits of the type of massage treatment for which the invention is designed.
Each bracket 33 is preferably made of sheet steel of such gauge that it adequately supports the arm, but at the same time has some resilience to the twisting stresses which may be imposed by a user pressing down on the top of the arm.
When the motor is operated, the arm is set into forced vibrations of like gyratory nature, and these vibrations are also transmitted through the bracket 33 to the post 25, and so into the back sections 19 and 21 and the connected seat sections 14 and 15. The patient, sitting naturally on the seat and resting on one or both of the arms 31 and 32, may thereby stimulate and internally massage various portions of the anatomy, depending upon the manner in which the attendant manipulates the switches 56.
In order to prevent undue damping of the vibratory impulses, each assembly of seat, back, and arm is mounted on the chair frame, in accordance with the principle set forth in my prior Patents Nos. 2,235,183 and 2,235,184 of March 18, 1941. As best shown in Figs. 3 and 4, the front and back rails 12 are each provided with inwardly projecting ledges 51, and the edges of the seat sections rest on these ledges through interposed rubber tubes 62 which are retained in grooves 63 and 64. Similar soft rubber tubes 65 are positioned on the under sides of the ledges 61, and they are retained in place under light compression by Z angles 66 whose upper flanges are connected to the seats by screws 61.
Each seat portion may therefore vibrate with a wave motion whose characteristics are those of the vibration generated by the dynamically unbalanced motors 41. Additional comfort to the user is obtained by covering the seats, backs, and portions of the arms with layers of sponge rubber 68, and the rubber and additional portions may be covered with an upholstering fabric 69.
Physiotherapeutic applications of the chair will be apparent to those skilled in the medical arts. Where internal stimulation or massage is indicated, the present invention may be utilized, particularly for the treatment of the spine, pleural, abdominal, and pelvic regions, and also portions of the limbs. The intensity of the action will generally be governed by the amount of current supplied to the motors 4 i and the pressure exerted by the patient, while localization of treatment may be obtained by adjustments of the arms.
While the invention has been described with respect to a single embodiment thereof, it is to be understood that it is susceptible of variations and modifications, and accordingly it is intended that it should be accorded a scope commensurate with that expressed in the following claims.
I claim: 1. A therapeutic massage chair comprising a supporting frame, a seat member resiliently mounted on the frame, a back rest extending upright from the seat member at one edge thereof, a supporting post mounted along one side of the back rest, a side arm slidably mounted on the post for both vertical and radial adjustments, a vibration generator carried by and adapted to set the seat member, back rest and arm simultaneously in sustained vibration, and control means for regulating the intensity of the vibrations.
2. A therapeutic massage chair comprising a supporting frame, a pair of spaced seat members resiliently mounted on the frame, a back section extending upwardly from each seat member, a side arm having a concave contour on its inner surface connected to said back section and adapted to be adjustably and fixedly secured thereto, and a vibration generator mounted within the arm of each seat member.
3. A therapeutic massage chair comprising a supporting frame, a pair of spaced seat members each resiliently supported and retained on the frame, spaced backs extending upward from each seat member and rigidly connected thereto, side arms for each seat member, said side arms being formed as box-like members having concave contours on the inner surfaces thereof, a bracket plate connected to each side arm at the outer rear surface thereof, said plate also being adjustably connected to its adjacent back, and a motor operated vibration generator mounted on said bracket plate.
4. A therapeutic massage chair comprising a supporting frame, a pair of spaced seat members each resiliently mounted on said frame, spaced backs rigidly connected to and extending upward from one edge portion of each seat member, tubular posts rigidly mounted on the outer side of each back and slightly spaced therefrom, a bracket plate having a collar portion encircling each post, a thumb screw for locking the bracket on the post in an adjusted position, a side arm having a box-like form connected to the bracket plate, resilient padding on the seat members, backs, and arms, and a motor operated vibration generator mounted within each arm.
WILLIAM L. WETTLAUFER.
REFERENCES CITED The following references are of record in the 65 file of this patent: UNITED STATES PATENTS Number 1,984,397 60 2,235,183 Name . Date Dalyze ------------ Dec. 18, 1934 Wettlaufer -------- Mar. 18, 1941