About Ralph Stephens, LMT

Ralph is a 2008 Inductee, Massage Therapy Hall of Fame!

Ralph is a 2008 Inductee, Massage Therapy Hall of Fame!
2017 Continuing Education Provider, Teacher of the Year by the Alliance for Massage Therapy Education
2018 The Lifetime Achievement Award by the Massage Therapy Hall of Fame/World Massage Festival.

Ralph Stephens has been practicing massage therapy to successfully treat the injuries and pain complaints of his clients for the last 34 years. While his particular focus is on athletes with clients ranging from Olympians and Paralympians to passionate amateurs, he also works with other populations from couch potatoes, pre-natal, chronic pain, and fibromyalgia to MS, post-surgery, and brain/cord injuries. Their continued performance, rapid recoveries, and relief from pain is a testament to Ralph’s excellent work, combining sports massage techniques, neuromuscular therapy, medical massage, Active Isolated Stretching (AIS) and Neural Reset Therapy® (NRT). He also offers DENAS Scenar and Sedona PEMF therapy.

His clients sing the praises of his hands-on skills. Many travel hours to receive the therapies he offers. The massage therapy community knows him best as a gifted teacher and leader. As a Massage Therapy Hall of Fame inductee, textbook author, regular Massage Today columnist, and AMTA National Meritorious Award winner Ralph has distinguished himself on every level of the professional massage therapy community.

Ralph himself never stops learning, whether it’s a new massage technique like NRT or perfecting his golf swing or yoga skills.

What is his invitation to you as a massage therapy patient? “Come let me help you live a healthier, happier, more active life with much less, hopefully no, pain.”

Allow Ralph to share with you the wisdom and knowledge he has acquired from over 34 years of clinical and teaching experience. 


Ralph graduated from Iowa State University with a BS in Industrial Education. He worked as a professional musician (drummer/vocalist/band leader) in several regional bands, two of which, RURAL, and the Deputy Dawg Band, have been inducted in to the Iowa Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame in 2006 and 2009 respectively. While on the road with the Deputy Dawg Band, Ralph discovered therapeutic massage. When Deputy Dawg broke up, Ralph went to the New Mexico School of Natural Therapeutics in Albuquerque, NM and studied massage and natural therapies. He returned to Iowa and opened the first office practice of massage therapy open to the public in Iowa City in 1986. The practice expanded to include three associate therapists and a Chiropractor. Once Ralph began teaching full time, he closed the clinic but maintains a home-office practice.

Ralph has been an active volunteer in The American Massage Therapy Association. He founded the Iowa Sports Massage Team in 1986 and served as Iowa AMTA Chapter President, First Vice President, Convention Chairperson, Education Chairperson and Sports Massage Team Chairperson. He served three terms on The AMTA National Board of Directors, three terms as a Trustee of the AMTA Foundation and two terms on the AMTA National Nominating Committee. He is a founding member of The Alliance for Massage Therapy Education (AFMTE) and a founding and two term member on the AFMTE Board of Directors.

 Ralph served four terms on the Iowa Board of Examiners for Massage Therapy. He was elected Secretary of the Board from 1992-1995 and Chairperson from 1995-2000.


Ralph Stephens is approved by the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork (NCBTMB) as a continuing education Approved Provider. since 1996, provider #037587-00.

1997 AMTA National Meritorious Award for Leadership, Dedication and Commitment.

2008 Inductee, Massage Therapy Hall of Fame. 

2017 AFMTE Bio-Freeze-Bon Vital Continuing Education Provider Teacher of the Year Award

2018 Massage Therapy Hall of Fame/World Massage Festival Lifetime Achievement Award

2019 AMTA-Iowa Chapter Presidential Award for outstanding dedication and commitment

Ralph has been recognized by the Marquis Who's Who Publication Board and selected for 4 different Who's Who publications:-
Marquis is the one you cannot buy your way into, you must be selected on merit.

Who's Who in America
Who's Who in the World
Who's Who in American Education
Who's Who in Medicine and Healthcare 


Golf is Ralph's primary recreation. He actively practices Yoga, QiGong, drumming, and meditation. Occasionally he still performs music.




Ralph is a published author, writing a regular editorial column in Massage Today Magazine from 2000 - 2019, numerous other articles in magazines and journals as well as textbooks. Ralph's first textbook, Therapeutic Chair Massage was released in 2005 by publisher Lippincott, Wilkins, & Williams (LWW). Ralph was the first to introduce and advocate the therapeutic paradigm in seated massage when he released his ground-breaking, standard setting video series Therapeutic Chair Massage in 1995. He has been a contributing author to two other textbooks. He has written and produced over 15 video training programs.

  • Seated Therapeutic Massage - a 3-DVD Series
  • The Feel Great! Hands-On Health Series - a 4 DVD series
  • Event Sports Massage
  • Therapeutic Sports Massage for the Lower Extremity
  • Anatomy of the Lower Extremity
  • Side-Lying Therapeutic Massage
  • Medical Massage for the Cervical Region
  • Medical Massage for the Lumbar Region
  • Medical Massage for the Abdominal Wall
  • Medical Massage for the Shoulder Girdle
  • Golf-Flexology
  • Stretching That Works

Due to a fire at the duplication facility in 2020, all masters of Ralph’s video (DVD) programs were destroyed. They will be available for on-line streaming and subscription soon.