Title:
Therapeutic lounge chair and method therefor
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A therapeutic lounge chair having a head rest portion that is vertically adjustable relative to a lower-body supporting portion and defines a substantially oval-shaped opening dimensioned to receive a human face when a person is lying on the lounge chair in a prone position in order to eliminate the strain on the spine and neck of a person.



Inventors:
Sisti, Dawn A. (Las Vegas, NV, US)
Application Number:
10/052656
Publication Date:
06/27/2002
Filing Date:
01/23/2002
Assignee:
SISTI DAWN A.
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A47C1/024; A47C1/14; (IPC1-7): A47C7/36
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
BARFIELD, ANTHONY DERRELL
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
WEISS & MOY PC (4204 NORTH BROWN AVENUE, SCOTTSDALE, AZ, 85251, US)
Claims:

I claim:



1. A therapeutic lounge chair comprising, in combination: a lower-body supporting portion having a foot end and a head end; and a head rest portion coupled to said head end of said lower-body supporting portion, said head rest portion defines a substantially oval-shaped opening dimensioned to receive a human face when a person is lying on said lounge chair in a prone position, said head rest portion is vertically adjustable relative to said lower-body supporting portion of said lounge chair.

2. The therapeutic lounge chair of claim 1 further comprising a substantially oval-shaped inflatable pillow defining a hollow portion in a center area thereof and dimensioned to receive a human face, said substantially oval-shaped inflatable pillow is coupled to said head rest portion proximate said substantially oval-shaped opening so that said hollow area of said inflatable pillow and said substantially oval-shaped opening of said head rest are aligned with one another.

3. The therapeutic lounge chair of claim 2 wherein said substantially oval-shaped inflatable pillow and said head rest portion of said lounge chair form a one-piece assembly.

4. The therapeutic lounge chair of claim 2 wherein said inflatable pillow is comprised of rubber.

5. The therapeutic lounge chair of claim 2 wherein said inflatable pillow is comprised of vinyl.

6. The therapeutic lounge chair of claim 2 wherein said inflatable pillow comprises an air receiving valve dimensioned to receive air from a mouth of a person in order to inflate said inflatable pillow.

7. The therapeutic lounge chair of claim 2 wherein said inflatable pillow comprises an air receiving valve dimensioned to receive air from a pressurized air source in order to inflate said inflatable pillow.

8. The therapeutic lounge chair of claim 1 further comprising a face rest cover coupled to said head rest portion and dimensioned to cover said substantially oval-shaped opening in order to support a back portion of a head of a person when a person is lying on said lounge chair in a supine position.

9. The therapeutic lounge chair of claim 2 further comprising a face rest cover coupled to said head rest portion and dimensioned to cover said substantially oval-shaped inflatable pillow in order to support a back portion of a head of a person when a person is lying on said lounge chair in a supine position.

10. The therapeutic lounge chair of claim 1 wherein said head rest portion of said lounge chair is vertically adjustable between a range of motion of 95 degrees and 180 degrees relative to said lower-body supporting portion of said lounge chair.

11. A method for maintaining spinal alignment in a lounge chair while in a prone position, comprising, in combination, the steps of: providing a lower-body supporting portion; providing a head rest portion, said head rest portion defines a substantially oval-shaped opening dimensioned to receive a human face when a person is lying on said lounge chair in a prone position, said head rest portion is vertically adjustable relative to said lower-body supporting portion of said lounge chair; and lying in a prone position on said lounge chair with said face proximate said substantially oval-shaped opening of said head rest portion.

12. The method of claim 11 further comprising the steps of: providing a substantially oval-shaped inflatable pillow defining a hollow portion in a center area thereof and dimensioned to receive a human face, said substantially oval-shaped inflatable pillow is coupled to said head rest portion proximate said substantially oval-shaped opening so that said hollow area of said inflatable pillow and said substantially oval-shaped opening of said head rest are aligned with one another; and lying in a prone position on said lounge chair with said face proximate said inflatable pillow.

13. The method of claim 11 wherein said substantially oval-shaped inflatable pillow and said head rest portion of said lounge chair form a one-piece assembly.

14. The method of claim 11 wherein said inflatable material is comprised of rubber.

15. The method of claim 11 wherein said inflatable material is comprised of vinyl.

16. The method of claim 11 further comprising the steps of: providing an air receiving valve coupled to said inflatable pillow and dimensioned to receive air from a mouth of a person in order to inflate said inflatable pillow; and blowing into said air receiving valve until said inflatable pillow is inflated.

17. The method of claim 11 further comprising the steps of: providing an air receiving valve coupled to said inflatable pillow and dimensioned to receive air from a pressurized air source in order to inflate said inflatable pillow; and inflating said inflatable pillow by activating a pressurized flow of air from a pressurized air source.

18. The method of claim 11 further comprising the steps of: providing a face rest cover coupled to said head rest portion and dimensioned to cover said substantially oval-shaped opening in order to support a back portion of a head of a person when a person is lying on said lounge chair in a supine position; and securing said face rest cover over said substantially oval-shaped opening.

19. The method of claim 12 further comprising the steps of: providing a face rest cover coupled to said head rest portion and dimensioned to cover said substantially oval-shaped inflatable pillow in order to support a back portion of a head of a person when a person is lying on said lounge chair in a supine position; and securing said face rest cover over said substantially oval-shaped inflatable pillow.

20. The method of claim 11 wherein said head rest portion of said lounge chair is vertically adjustable between a range of motion of 95 degrees and 180 degrees relative to said lower-body supporting portion of said lounge chair.

Description:

RELATED APPLICATION

[0001] This application claims priority to a corresponding provisional application U.S. Ser. No. 60/258,907, filed Dec. 27, 2000 in the name of the applicant of this application.

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

[0002] This invention relates generally to lounge chairs and, more specifically, to a therapeutic lounge chair having a head rest that defines a substantially oval-shaped opening dimensioned to receive a human face when a person is lying on the lounge chair in a prone position, thus alleviating any strain on the neck and spine that can result from a person having to twist one's neck to one side.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0003] Lounge chairs are a popular kind of outdoor furniture, often used by those wishing to lie out in the sun. A lounge chair is generally made up of two parts; a longer, body-supporting portion, and a shorter head support portion. Usually, the head support portion is vertically adjustable relative to the body-supporting portion so that a person lying in a supine position can raise their upper body relative to their lower body. It is often the case, however, that both portions of a lounge chair remain down in a horizontal position, parallel to the ground. In this way, a person can lie flat either in a prone position or a supine position. Many people who want to get a tan, for instance, will lie for a pre-determined amount of time on their back and then for the same amount of time on their stomach so as to receive an even tan over their entire body. When lying in a prone position on a lounge chair, however, a person must turn their head to the left or right in order to avoid trauma to the face. This rotation of the head causes the cervical vertebrae to twist to one side, putting strain on the spine, as well as on the muscles of the neck. Additionally, people who tan are forced to expose one side of the face to the sun while the other side is concealed against the head rest of the lounge chair, creating an uneven tan.

[0004] Specially designed tables for massage and physical therapy have been designed to include a substantially oval-shaped opening for a person's face. However, these tables, unlike lounge chairs, do not have a vertically adjustable head rest portion, to allow a person to sit up when lying in a supine position. Additionally, such massage tables are designed for indoor use, unlike lounge chairs which must withstand harsh outdoor conditions.

[0005] A need therefore existed for a therapeutic lounge chair having a head rest portion that is vertically adjustable relative to a lower-body supporting portion and defines a substantially oval-shaped opening dimensioned to receive a human face when a person is lying on the lounge chair in a prone position in order to eliminate strain on the spine and neck of a person.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0006] An object of the present invention is to provide a therapeutic lounge chair having a head rest portion that is vertically adjustable relative to a lower-body supporting portion and defines a substantially oval-shaped opening dimensioned to receive a human face so that a person can lie on the lounge chair in a prone position without having to twist his or her neck to one side.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

[0007] In accordance with one embodiment of the present invention, a therapeutic lounge chair is disclosed, comprising, in combination, a lower-body supporting portion having a foot end and a head end, and a head rest portion coupled to the head end of the lower-body supporting portion, the head rest portion defines a substantially oval-shaped opening dimensioned to receive a human face when a person is lying on the lounge chair in a prone position, the head rest portion is vertically adjustable relative to the lower-body supporting portion of the lounge chair.

[0008] In accordance with another embodiment of the present invention, a method for maintaining spinal alignment in a lounge chair while in a prone position is disclosed, comprising, in combination, the steps of providing a lower-body supporting portion having a foot end and a head end, a head rest portion coupled to the head end of the lower-body supporting portion, the head rest portion defines a substantially oval-shaped opening dimensioned to receive a human face when a person is lying on the lounge chair in a prone position, the head rest portion is vertically adjustable relative to the lower-body supporting portion of the lounge chair, and lying in a prone position on the lounge chair with the face proximate the substantially oval-shaped opening of the head rest portion.

[0009] The foregoing and other objects, features, and advantages of the invention will be apparent from the following, more particular description of the preferred embodiments of the invention, as illustrated in the accompanying drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0010] FIG. 1 is a perspective, fragmentary view of the preferred embodiment of the therapeutic lounge chair of the present invention.

[0011] FIG. 2 is a top, fragmentary view of the therapeutic lounge chair of FIG. 1.

[0012] FIG. 3 is a side view of the therapeutic lounge chair of FIG. 1.

[0013] FIG. 4 is a perspective view of the substantially oval-shaped inflatable pillow of the therapeutic lounge chair of FIG. 1.

[0014] FIG. 5 is a side, cross-sectional view of a horizontal support strap coupled to the frame of the body-supporting portion of the therapeutic lounge chair of FIG. 2, taken along line 5-5.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

[0015] Referring to FIGS. 1-3, reference number 10 refers generally to the preferred embodiment of the therapeutic lounge chair of the present invention. The therapeutic lounge chair 10 comprises a lower-body supporting portion 12 having a foot end 13 and a head end 15. The therapeutic lounge chair 10 further comprises a head rest portion 14 coupled to the head end 15 of the lower-body supporting portion 12. The head rest portion 14 is vertically adjustable relative to the lower-body supporting portion 12 of the therapeutic lounge chair 10. In the preferred embodiment, the head rest portion 14 is vertically adjustable between a range of motion of 95 degrees and 180 degrees relative to the lower-body supporting portion 12, although it should be understood that substantial benefit could be derived from an alternative configuration of the therapeutic lounge chair 10 in which the range of motion deviates, even substantially, from the preferred range of motion in either direction.

[0016] The head rest portion 14 defines a substantially oval-shaped opening 16 (shown in FIGS. 1, 2 and 4) dimensioned to receive a human face (not shown) when a person (not shown) is lying on the therapeutic lounge chair 10 in a prone position. In the preferred embodiment, the therapeutic lounge chair 10 further comprises a substantially oval-shaped inflatable pillow 18. The inflatable pillow 18 defines a hollow portion in a center area thereof and is dimensioned to receive a human face. The inflatable pillow 18 is preferably coupled to the head rest portion 14 proximate the substantially oval-shaped opening 16 so that both the inflatable pillow 18 and the substantially oval-shaped opening 16 are in alignment. The inflatable pillow 18 may be comprised of rubber, vinyl, plastic or any other material that is inflatable and strong enough to support the weight of the face of a person. Preferably, the head rest portion 14 and the inflatable pillow 18 form a one-piece assembly, although it should be clearly understood that substantial benefit could be derived from an alternative configuration of the therapeutic lounge chair 10 in which the inflatable pillow 18 is separately attached to the head rest portion 14. The inflatable pillow 18 provides additional comfort and support to the face of a person who is lying on the therapeutic lounge chair 10 in a prone position.

[0017] In the preferred embodiment, the inflatable pillow 18 comprises an air receiving valve 22 dimensioned to receive air to inflate the inflatable pillow 18. Preferably, the air receiving valve 22 is dimensioned to receive air from the mouth of a person, although it should be clearly understood that substantial benefit could be derived from an alternative configuration of the inflatable pillow 18 in which the air receiving valve 22 is dimensioned to receive air from a pressurized air source. While, in the preferred embodiment, the inflatable pillow 18 comprises an air receiving valve 22, it should be clearly understood that substantial benefit could be derived from an alternative configuration of the inflatable pillow 18 in which there is no air receiving valve 22, such as in a pillow that is pre-inflated and hermetically sealed.

[0018] While, in the preferred embodiment, the therapeutic lounge chair 10 comprises a substantially oval-shaped inflatable pillow 18 it should be clearly understood that substantial benefit could be derived from an alternative configuration of the therapeutic lounge chair 10 in which there is no inflatable pillow 18, so long as a person's face can rest in the substantially oval-shaped opening 18.

[0019] The lower-body supporting portion 12 and the head rest portion 14 preferably comprise a tubular or rectangular frame 20 made of a rigid material such as plastic or metal, although substantial benefit could be derived from alternative configurations of the therapeutic lounge chair 10, so long as the lower-body supporting portion 12 and the head rest portion 14 can support the weight of a person. Additionally, the lower-body supporting portion 12 and the head rest portion 14 may be comprised of either horizontal straps coupled at opposite ends of the frame 20, cushions (not shown), plastic slats or some other material strong enough to support the weight of a person.

[0020] Referring now to FIGS. 1-3, the therapeutic lounge chair 10 preferably comprises a face rest cover 24 coupled to the head rest portion 14 and dimensioned to cover the substantially oval-shaped opening 16. The purpose of the face rest cover 24 is to allow a person who wishes to lie on the therapeutic lounge chair 10 in a supine position to be able to have support for the back of their head. The face rest cover 24 may be used to cover only the substantially oval-shaped opening 16 if the therapeutic lounge chair 10 lacks an inflatable pillow 18, or the face rest cover 24 may be used to cover both the substantially oval-shaped opening 16 and the inflatable pillow 18 if the therapeutic lounge chair 10 has an inflatable pillow 18. The face rest cover 24 must be constructed of material sufficiently strong to support the weight of the head of a person. The face rest cover 24 is preferably coupled at one of its ends to one side of the head rest portion 14 and then the uncoupled end of the face rest cover 24 can then be attached to the other side of the head rest portion 14 to cover the substantially oval-shaped opening 16. While, in the preferred embodiment, the therapeutic lounge chair 10 comprises a face rest cover 24, it should be clearly understood that substantial benefit could be derived from an alternative embodiment of the therapeutic lounge chair 10 in which there is no face rest cover 24, for example if the inflatable pillow 18 is used to also support the back of a person's head.

[0021] While the invention has been particularly shown and described with reference to preferred embodiments thereof, it will be understood by those skilled in the art that the foregoing and other changes in form and details may be made therein without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention.