Title:
EXERCISING DEVICE FOR FACIAL MUSCULATURE
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A device for exercising strengthening and toning the musculature of the face comprises a head enclosure with a central portion covering a user's face from the top of the skull to under the chin and jaw line, and from ear to ear; an aperture surrounding a user's eyes and mouth; a series of straps extending from the central portion around the upper and lower sides of the user's head and connecting at the back of the user's head; a top strap extending over the user's head and connecting at the back of the user's head, and a removable neck strap, which can be attached to the sides of the device and extends either around the front of the device under the jaw line, or behind the device around the back of the neck.



Inventors:
Rooney, Bryan Russell (Los Angeles, CA, US)
Application Number:
12/354669
Publication Date:
05/14/2009
Filing Date:
01/15/2009
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
482/121
International Classes:
A63B23/03; A63B21/02
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
BAKER, LORI LYNN
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Edwin Tarver (Los Angeles, CA, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. An exercising device for the facial musculature comprising: a head enclosure comprising a deformable vet resiliently biased material, further comprising: a central portion that covers a user's face vertically from the top of the skull to under the chin and jaw line and horizontally from ear to ear; an aperture in the central part comprising an area bounded by the user's eyes and mouth; at least one side strap extending around the back of the user's head; at least one top strap extending over the top of the user's head; and wherein the enclosure holds the facial muscles in place such that when facial expressions and jaw movements are made, the facial muscles encounter resistance, the device including means for holding the skin flat when facial expressions and jaw movements are made.

2. The device of claim 1, wherein the material is chosen from the list of: neoprene, elastic, spandex, latex or PPR.

3. The device of claim 1, wherein the at least one strap extending around the back of the user's head comprises a pair of upper straps extending from either side of the central portion around to the back of the user's head.

4. The device of claim 3, wherein the at least one strap extending around the back of the user's head comprises an additional pair of lower straps extending from either side of the central portion around to the back of the user's neck.

5. The device of claim 4, wherein the upper straps, when attached, apply pressure at the back of the head; and the lower straps, when attached, apply pressure below the back of the head.

6. The device of claim 1, wherein the at least one side strap comprises multiple connecting straps.

7. The device of claim 1, wherein the at least one side strap comprises multiple overlapping straps.

8. The device of claim 1, wherein the at least one side strap comprises a hook-and-latch feature.

9. The device of claim 1, wherein the at least one top strap extends to the back of a user's head.

10. The device of claim 1, wherein the at least one top strap connects to the at least one side strap.

11. The device of claim 1 wherein the at least one top strap overlaps the at least one side strap.

12. The device of claim 1, wherein the at least one top strap comprises a hook-and-latch feature.

13. The device of claim 1, also comprising a removable neck strap that connects to the sides of the neck of the device and extends around the front of the device under the jaw line, or around the back of the device at the neck.

14. The device of claim 1, wherein the device also comprises ear holes or perforations positioned complimentary to the ears of a user.

15. The device of claim 1, wherein the interior surface of the device adjacent the user's face comprises a means for preventing the user's skin from slipping against the interior of the device.

16. The device of claim 15, wherein the means is chosen from the list of: a mildly adherent texture to the interior of the device, a texture created by an application to the interior of the device, a texture created by an application to the user's face prior to wearing the device, and a separate device disposed between the user's skin and the interior of the device.

17. The device of claim 1, wherein the interior surface of the device comprises a skin treatment, including a means for preventing wrinkles and toning the skin.

18. The device of claim 17, wherein the interior surface of the device may contain pockets or vessels containing a skin treatment.

19. The device of claim 1, wherein the device further comprises a quasi-circular chin area comprised of a material that causes the device to remain in position relative to the chin of a user.

20. An exercising device for the facial musculature comprising: a head enclosure comprising a deformable yet resiliently biased material, further comprising: a central portion that covers a user's face vertically from the top of the skull to under the chin and jaw line and horizontally from ear to ear; an aperture in the central part comprising an area bounded by the user's eyes and mouth; an upper pair of side straps extending around and connecting at the back of the user's head; a lower pair of side straps extending around and connecting at the back of the user's neck; at least one top strap extending over the top of the user's head and connecting to the upper side straps; wherein the enclosure holds the facial muscles in place such that when facial expressions and jaw movements are made, the facial muscles encounter resistance, the device including means for holding the skin flat when facial expressions and jaw movements are made.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION

This application is a continuation-in-part of application Ser. No. 11/225,271 filed on Sep. 13, 2005.

FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH

Not Applicable

SEQUENCE LISTING OR PROGRAM

Not Applicable

STATEMENT REGARDING COPYRIGHTED MATERIAL

Portions of the disclosure of this patent document contain material that is subject to copyright protection. The copyright owner has no objection to the facsimile reproduction by anyone of the patent document or the patent disclosure as it appears in the Patent and Trademark Office file or records, but otherwise reserves all copyright rights whatsoever.

BACKGROUND

The present invention is directed to facial exercise apparatus, and more particularly to a facial exercise apparatus made of a flexible and stretchable material. Materials including elastic, latex, spandex, PPR (a soft rubber material) or neoprene are contemplated in addition to other materials with similar characteristics.

During physical exercise, it is common to work the abdominal muscles or cardio-vascular system. However, little attention is typically paid to facial muscles even though these muscles are critical to health and well-being. Proper exercise of the facial muscles can improve dental health and minimize painful macro-facial conditions such as TMJ. Proper exercising of the facial muscles can also noticeably improve physical appearance generally.

Facial exercise apparatus are known in the art, typified by complex and uncomfortable designs.

U.S. Pat. No. 6,248,043 discloses an exercise device for exercising face, jaws and neck muscles featuring an elongated strap with two releasable attachable ends and an elastic portion to provide resistance for muscle exercise. A visible scale measures force provided by the elastic portion through indicia on the exterior surface of the elongated strap that shows the increasing and decreasing stretch of the elastic portion.

U.S. Pat. No. 4,666,148 discloses a facial exercise mask including an inflatable lining that provides the resistive force for the facial muscles to work against. U.S. Pat. No. 6,277,053 discloses a chin and face toning strap including an elongated strap portion for wrapping underneath a chin and atop the head of a user. Magnets are secured within the cheek portions of the elongated strap portion.

U.S. Pat. No. 6,179,747 discloses a one piece face and neck exerciser. A critical feature is a neck band to which two elongated beginners' neck resistance hands are attached into neck grooves to be permanently attached to the lateral sides of a chin cup. Increased resistance is provided by the use of additional resistance bands.

U.S. Pat. No. 6,152,857 discloses an apparatus for exercising the face and neck comprising a frame with multiple perforations in its upper and lower parts tor fastening flexible bands to produce elastic resistance to exercise facial muscles. Two ocular accessories with adjustable sockets are positioned within the frame for exercising the eyelids. Support and fastening elements firmly retain the bands and accessories in place on the frame for exercising facial muscles.

U.S. Pat. No. 5,728,028 discloses a liquid latex facial mask that dries to a rubberized consistency resistant to facial muscle movement. This resistance is increased by adding additional layers of latex.

U.S. Pat. No. 5,192,254 discloses a sensor device to detect and signal the exercise or movement of a subject's craniofacial and cervical muscles including a trigger attached to the subject sensitive to movement in at least one direction and a signal emitter emitting a signal upon sensing movement.

U.S. Pat. No. 4,574,787 discloses an acupressure apparatus for applying vibrational pressure evenly to a plurality of pre-selected points on the face and includes a housing and flexible membrane secured to the housing to form an enclosed chamber between the housing and the flexible membrane for containing a liquid.

U.S. Pat. No. 4,189,141 discloses an externally convex exercise mask made of an elastic two-way stretch cloth material. A central face portion has holes for the eyes, nose and mouth. Weights are disposed at the brow, temple, cheek, nose and chin.

U.S. Pat. No. 4,892,092 discloses a facial mask for isometric facial muscle toning comprising pressure applicators located to cover termination points of selected facial muscles, and a chamber that causes the pressure applicators to apply pressure to facial muscles.

U.S. Pat. No. 4,823,778 discloses an exercise device including a series of stiffeners. U.S. patent application Ser. No. 2004/0220445 discloses a flexible and elastic magnetic joint wraps incorporate super strong magnets with alternating polarities to provide enhanced magneto-therapeutic effects.

While there have been a number of exercise devices on the market, the devices include a variety of additional or complex mechanical structures or uncomfortable structures such as eye socket attachments. It is therefore an object of the present invention to provide a novel face exercising device. Another object of the present invention is to provide a face exercising device which can be easily placed upon the face of the wearer. A further object of the invention is to provide a face exercising device which can be easily adjusted. Another object of the invention is to provide a face exercising device which tightens and tones all major muscles of the face and neck, including the jaw line, forehead, cheeks, eyelids, around and under the eyes, around the mouth, under the jaw, and the front and back of the neck. Another object of the invention to provide a face exercising device which smoothes away wrinkles in the areas it exercises and tightens and tones the skin. Another object of the invention is provide a system that lifts saggy or droopy facial skin in the areas that it exercises, tightens and tones.

SUMMARY

The face exercising device of the present invention comprises a stretchable face-covering head enclosure having a central aperture for a user's face. two top straps connectable behind the head secure the device to the user's forehead, two connectable bottom straps attach the enclosure to the user's chin, a top strap affixed to the top of the head enclosure attaches at the back of the user's head and a neck strap for tightening the device at the user's neck can be disposed in front of or behind a user's neck.

When the enclosure is affixed over a user's head, the muscles of the face are held in place, thereby creating resistance when facial gestures and jaw movements are made.

In one preferred embodiment, the invention is a face exercising device comprising a stretchable neoprene mask having a central aperture for the wearer's face, two connectable top straps connectable behind the wearer's head for securing the top to the wearer's forehead, two connectable bottom straps for attaching the device to the wearer's chin, a top strap affixed to the top of the device for attaching at the back of the wearer's head; and optionally a cavity or series of cavities on the inside the device to hold a skin emollient. A neck strap positioned at the front of the device under the jaw line, or at the back of the device behind the neck provides additional resistance.

In another embodiment, the face exercising device comprises a head covering made of stretchable material that when fixed tightly on a wearer's face, holds facial muscles in place and additionally comprises an interior texture that gently adheres to facial skin, holding the skin flat and preventing the formation of wrinkles as facial gestures and jaw movements are made. Facial muscles are urged by the device to remain in place, thereby creating a resistance that, in effect, exercises, tightens and tones facial muscles.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE FIGURES

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of the facial exercise device as worn by a user.

FIG. 2 is a front view of the facial exercise device as worn by a user performing facial exercises.

FIG. 3 is a side view of the facial exercise device as worn by a user performing facial exercises.

FIG. 4 is a perspective rear view of the facial exercise device as worn by a user.

FIG. 5 is a plan view of the facial exercise device in an unfolded configuration.

DESCRIPTION

The present invention is described with reference to the Figures. Referring to FIGS. 1-5, the invention comprises a stretchable head enclosure 10 comprising a deformable, yet resiliently biased material. In various embodiments, neoprene, elastic, spandex, latex, or PPR (a type of soft rubber material) may be used. However, any material with the aforementioned characteristics is contemplated.

The head enclosure 10 has an aperture 16 for the user's face. The aperture 16 forms a frame around the eyes nose and mouth of the wearer. The head enclosure 10 comprises two pairs of side straps; an upper strap 18 and lower strap 20 on each side of the head enclosure 10. The upper straps 18 wrap around a user's head to tighten the upper region of the head enclosure 10. The lower straps 20 wrap around the user's neck to tighten the lower region of the head enclosure 10.

In one preferred embodiment, the upper straps 18 and lower straps 20 connect, respectively, behind a user's head to firmly hold the head enclosure 10 in place. In another preferred embodiment, the upper straps 18, and lower straps 20 overlap, respectively. In yet another preferred embodiment, the straps 18, 20 comprise complimentary hook-and-latch surfaces to achieve a firm connection.

In addition to the side straps 18, 20 the head enclosure 10 comprises a top strap 22 extending over the top and to the back of a user's head. The top strap 22 serves to anchor the head enclosure 10 against vertical movement on a user's face. In one preferred embodiment, the top strap 22 connects to the side straps 18, 20 at the rear of a user's head. In another preferred embodiment the top strap 22 and upper side straps 18 overlap. In yet another preferred embodiment, the top strap 22 and upper side straps 18 comprise complimentary hook-and-latch surfaces to achieve a firm connection.

Still referring to FIGS. 1-5, the head enclosure 10 also comprises a neck strap 24 for anchoring the head enclosure in place via the neck or jaw. The neck strap 24 comprises a removable strip that connects to the lower portion of the head enclosure 10 at the area of the lower side straps 20 adjacent the sides of a user's neck. For one set of exercises in which anchoring of the jaw is necessary, the neck strap 24 is connected around the front of a user's neck. For another set of exercises, in which anchoring of the neck is necessary, the neck strap 24 is connected around the rear of a user's neck. In a preferred embodiment of the invention, the head enclosure 10 also comprises perforations or holes near the ears of a user to facilitate hearing while the device is in use.

In order to prevent wrinkles, the interior of the head enclosure comprises a texture with a mildly adherent quality to hold a user's skin in place while the device is in use. Although in one preferred embodiment, the lining on the interior of the enclosure comprises this texture, other means of achieving a non-wrinkling effect can be used, including an independent lining separate from the device placed between the device and a user's skin during use; or a material applied directly to the skin prior to using the device.

In various additional embodiments, the inside of the device may be coated with a special formula to help relieve wrinkles and tone the skin, the formula entering the skin during use. Magnets may also be placed inside the product over the acupressure points of the face in order to aid in relieving wrinkles and toning the skin. Additionally, the inside of the product may have small pockets that hold facial cream emollient or other emulsions. During use, the emollient cream seeps from the pockets into the user's skin. The inside of the mask also can be coated with an anti wrinkle cream.

Referring to FIGS. 3 and 5, in a further preferred embodiment, the chin area of the head enclosure 10 comprises a quasi-circular chin area comprised of a different material or lesser thickness that gives the circular area less resistance than the surrounding head enclosure 10. This has the effect of orienting the head enclosure properly on the face and serves to prevent the enclosure from moving relative to the face while performing facial exercises.

The structure of the various embodiment of the invention having been shown and described, an explanation of the operation of the device follows. In order to use the head enclosure of the present invention, a user desiring to exercise the facial musculature orients the head enclosure in an open position, wherein the side straps and top strap extend from the portion of the device for covering the user's face, and with the inner, textured side of the device oriented to contact the skin. In an alternate embodiment, the texture may be applied to the interior of the device, to the user's skin, or a separate covering to be disposed between the user's skin and the device may be placed over the user's face.

To attach the head enclosure, the upper and lower straps are pulled around the user's head and anchored in place. Thereafter the top strap of the device is pulled over the user's head and anchored in place. In one preferred embodiment, the straps connect to each other for reinforcement. In another preferred embodiment, the straps overlap, and in another preferred embodiment, the straps comprise hook-and-latch features that hold them together.

After the head enclosure is in place, the neck strap is placed either around the front of the neck under the jaw line, or around the back of the neck depending on the exercises to be performed. In either orientation, the neck strap anchors to the lower portion of the head enclosure at the sides of the user's neck. Once the head enclosure and optionally the neck strap are in place, the user's ears should be oriented complimentary to the ear holes or perforations, the user's chin should be oriented adjacent to the quasi-circular chin area, and the aperture should closely encircle the eyes, nose and mouth of the user.

Once the device is in place with a proper fit, a user engages in one or a series of predetermined head movements, including facial expressions that cause the musculature of the face to work against the device which is deformable, but resiliently biased to the original position of the user's face. This action strengthens and tones various muscle groups of the face. During exercise, the textured portion of the device maintains a connection to the user's skin, holding the skin flat and preventing wrinkling or folding. In one preferred embodiment, the device is used a minimum of ten minutes per day, and no longer than fifteen minutes per routine. Once an exercise routine is completed, the user removes the neck strap, and unfastens the top and side straps to release the head enclosure, which can be stored for re-use.

All features disclosed in this specification, including any accompanying claims, abstract, and drawings, may be replaced by alternative features serving the same, equivalent or similar purpose, unless expressly stated otherwise. Thus, unless expressly stated otherwise each feature disclosed is one example only of a generic series of equivalent or similar features.

Any element in a claim that does not explicitly state “means for” performing a specified function, or “step for” performing a specific function, is not to be interpreted as a “means” or “step” clause as specified in 35 U.S.C. § 112, paragraph 6. In particular the use of “step of” in the claims herein is not intended to invoke the provisions of 35 U.S.C. § 112, paragraph 6.

Although preferred embodiments of the present invention have been shown in and described, various modifications and substitutions may be made thereto without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention. Accordingly, it is to be understood that the present invention has been described by way of illustration and not limitation.