Matt Erb, PT

Matt Erb, PT Associate Clinical Director, The Center for Mind-Body Medicine Tucson, AZ, USA

Matt Erb, physiotherapist, owner of Embody Your Mind, faculty member and Associate Clinical Director for the Center for Mind-Body Medicine, has a passion for helping others understand the science of mind-body medicine, stress, and integrative wellness.

Matt was born and raised in Iowa and received his Bachelor’s (Biology) and Master’s (Physical Therapy) degrees from the University of Iowa. Upon graduating he spent many years learning, healing, and working in Minneapolis, where the extreme climate served an integral role in his own healing process. In 2014 he traded one extreme climate for another and made the move to his present location in Tucson, where the Sonoran Desert now serves as a mirror and teacher to his inner world.

Matt has worked extensively with persons experiencing acute and chronic health conditions using an integrative (holistic/whole-person, and mind-body integrated) model of care. He works with all forms of chronic pain, migraines, headache, craniofacial and spinal disorders, dizziness and vertigo (vestibular conditions), chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia and many more. Early in his career he saw strong links between stress, emotions, and cognitive patterns and the physical symptoms and diagnoses that his patients were experiencing and saw that his training had inadvertently reinforced a pervasive split between mind and body in healthcare. Since those early years, Matt has studied tirelessly to develop novel ways of breaking down this paradigm and offering patients an experience that sees and cares for the whole person. 

Matt has a deep experiential understanding of trauma, having navigated many facets of trauma healing himself, and has grown to personally and professionally integrate information and wisdom from many areas including neuroscience, mind-body medicine, traumatology, psychology, ceremony and ritual, bodywork, contemplative movement, yoga therapy, and many aspects of physiotherapy. He has a deep understanding of the biology and neuroscience that underlies the polyvagal theory and speaks regularly on the clinical understandings and practical applications of this. He works regularly with persons experiencing conditions that are marked by dysregulation of the autonomic and central nervous system. He finds that the medical community continues to focus treatment in a way that often misses out on creating change at this level of physiology by overly focusing on structure or perceived mechanical factors (such as the results of imaging in spinal pain). Likewise, he finds that the medical system often compartmentalizes such conditions from comorbid mental health symptoms such as anxiety, depression and PTSD. He works tirelessly to normalize mental health and explain the physiology and shared workings of the body and mind. He is also interested in neurophilosophy and the origins of consciousness from the perspective of both the linear and non-linear sciences and is fascinated by the notion of the evolution of individual and collective consciousness. As famous scientist and mind-body researcher Candace Pert said, “this is the big thing of this century, not the Internet.”

In addition to his work with The Center for Mind-Body Medicine, Matt is a guest lecturer for several University of Arizona/Banner University physician residency programs, and an instructor for the University of Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine. Matt also has a passion for educating physiotherapists and is working to expand the role of physiotherapy in mental health care in the US. He is also an Advisor with Sharing Culture, an organization devoted to increasing awareness around historical trauma in minoritized, aboriginal, and indigenous populations. Matt believes that the upstream determinants of health (social determinants, racism, systemic factors, etc.) must be actively acknowledged and addressed, even as individual care and support is offered. He currently maintains a clinical practice as well as a teaching/consulting business and travels regularly from his home base in Tucson, Arizona to learn and teach with others in these fields.