Trans4mind Home Page

Memory Foam History...Astronauts, Racehorses and Bed Sores

By Charles "Chuck" Harmon

With all the advertising about memory foam these days, it's hard to imagine that this material has only been in existence for a little over 30 years.

It's difficult to find an exact date when memory foam first came into being, but it was originally formulated during the early days of manned space flight. Most likely, it was in the mid to late 1960's.

The National Aeronautics & Space Administration, aka. NASA, needed a material that would cushion the astronauts from the unparalleled g-forces of launch and re-entry during space missions.

In response the their request, a material was produced, called visco-elastic memory foam.

I've seen dozens of articles explaining what visco-elastic memory foam means and none of them has the same explanation.

The online dictionary gives no definition for the word visco, but the word is derived from viscous, which means "gummy or pasty." It is a cross between a solid and a liquid.

I think we all know what elastic means, but, again, the definition is, "being able to return to it's original shape after being deformed."

Well...that's enough of the grammar lesson. The point is that this material hadn't existed's unique.

The whole idea, of showing a picture with a hand print, over the top of a memory foam mattress, is to illustrate that this material isn't forcefully pushing against you.

That's why it takes a while for the memory foam to react and slowly return, to it's original shape, once the hand is removed.

The other quality, of visco elastic memory foam, is that it's temperature reactive. When it's heated, it becomes softer and when it's cooled, it becomes firmer.

A body, laying on the memory foam material, will heat it, making it softer under that heated area.

Again, it's not clear whether or not this earlier version of the memory foam material was ever actually used in any space missions.

Some claim that the material off-gassed, producing an odor that couldn't be tolerated in the small quarters of a spacecraft.

Whatever the reason, this material was too expensive to be used in the form of a memory foam mattress or memory foam pillow for the average consumer.

It was not, however, too expensive for use as an aid to recovery for multi-million dollar racehorses who had been injured or were recovering from surgery.

Horses cut off their circulation when they lay down so when horses are recovering, they need to be in the upright position, so that their blood circulation isn't restricted."

This can be very difficult or impossible, because if the injury is to a limb, the horses massive weight is too much for the limb to support.

Laying the horse on a large, thick, slab of memory foam solved this problem.

Because memory foam melts away from where pressure is placed on it, the body of a horse or human can lay on it without restricting the blood flow.

Blood flow is critical, to healing and recovery from surgery, so it makes sense that recovery is greatly enhanced by sleeping on a memory foam mattress.

Of course, it was only a matter of time until someone thought to apply this factor to the human body.

Medical researchers have more money to experiment than consumer businesses, so it was in medical research that memory foam was found to be a great inhibitor to bedsores.

Bedsores occur when the blood supply to the capillaries is restricted over a period of time. Bedsores are also called pressure ulcers.

Since the unique character of memory foam is it's ability to melt away from anywhere that pressure is applied, bed sores are reduced or eliminated.

It's broad use, in the medical field, finally led to the cost effective use of memory foam for consumer mattresses. Now, memory foam mattresses have come into the mainstream in the mattress industry.

Memory foam mattress pricing, for a quality product, in queen size, is usually about $2,000 to $2,500 which is in line with most of the high quality innerspring products.

© 2005 Charles C Harmon Co. All Rights Reserved

About The Author
Charles "Chuck" Harmon is a the author of several articles including The 5 Deadliest Sins Most People Commit When Buying A Memory Foam Mattress...And How To Avoid Them. Get the article at:

From our extensive site, you'll find good info on many topics using this search:

Support your personal development with these popular and effective hypnosis downloads...

  • Public Speaking Fear ~ Banish speaking anxiety and nerves with hypnosis.
  • Motivate Yourself to Exercise ~ Build a powerful exercise habit that you can't break.
  • Get Rid of Fear & Anxiety ~ Stop worry and apprehension wrecking your life.
  • Self Esteem ~ Break the negative trance of low self esteem and give yourself a chance in life.
  • Create Your Own Reality ~ Use the power of your unconscious mind to transform your life.
  • Deeper Self Respect ~ Use hypnosis to connect with your true inner worth.
  • Detach From Fear ~ Tune out nervousness and anxiety with hypnosis.
  • Improving Concentration and Focus ~ Learn how to discipline, direct and command your mind to improve your performance.
  • Exercise Motivation ~ Give you powerful keys to getting back on track with your exercise - and staying there.
  • Overcoming Shyness ~ Provides an invisible security blanket allowing you to develop social ease and overcome shyness.
  • Quick Confidence Booster ~ An audio hypnosis session that's specifically designed to get you (quickly!) back on track.
  • Stop Negative Thoughts ~ Learn powerful hypnotic techniques to stop negative thoughts before they start.
  • Overcoming Procrastination ~ Let hypnosis help you get on with what you need to do, when you need to do it. Let nothing hold you back.
  • Think Thin ~ Use hypnosis to re-train your brain and lose weight naturally... that's how to get and stay slim.
  • Fall Asleep Fast ~ Relearn how to fall asleep fast and enjoy a good night's sleep.
  • The Next Level ~ Designed to radically boost your performance in any field. It's based on a technique used by top athletes and other successful people to help them make a big stride forward.
This is our selection of favorites, but there's a session for every need! Choose from over 800 Hypnosis Downloads...
Search now on an issue that interests or concerns you...

View all the Hypnosis Downloads here

The New Wave in Meditation Technology

Click here to learn more about the iAwake Profound Meditation Program
The iAwake Profound Meditation Program
is a way of enhancing your meditation practice, making meditation not only easier and more enjoyable, but also more efficient and effective.
Profound Meditation provides the smoothest, deepest, richest, most profound meditation experience available anywhere...
Here is a link to a free 20-minute track from iAwake Technologies - a sample of the type of tools that will deepen your meditation immediately and help you quickly become a successful meditator. It's the opening track of iAwake's flagship product, the Profound Meditation Program, called the iAwake Experience...
Learn More and Download the iAwake Experience
We think you'll find this technology a tremendous aid on your transformative journey of becoming your best and most creative self - and you can get started today!
Copyright © 1997-2018 Trans4mind Ltd