[Skip to Navigation]
June 20, 1959


JAMA. 1959;170(8):966. doi:10.1001/jama.1959.03010080074017

The seizure by the Food and Drug Administration of vibratory appliances recently promoted and advertised as weight reducers and as cure-alls for disease is a significant step.1 Approximately every generation since the middle of the 19th century has seen exercising and vibrating machines manufactured and sold for alleviation of disease.

About 1857, Dr. Gustaf Zander of Stockholm first used mechanical equipment for massage and exercise. Several large hospitals in the United States were thereafter equipped with "Zander rooms."2 Machines of all styles and shapes were belt-driven and designed to imitate mechanically many motions normally performed actively by human beings, such as bicycling,rowing, and arm, leg, neck, and back exercises. The Zander machines enjoyed several years of popularity and then fell into disuse in view of the lack of evidence to support their therapeutic claims.

Massaging, exercising, and vibrating machines were revived in the 1920's and sold by the