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WELLNESS GURU: My daughter still sucks her thumb

February 01, 2022 12:54 IST
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Wellness expert Roopashree Sharma answers your health queries.

Thumb sucking

IMAGE: Kindly note that this image has only been posted for representational purposes. Photograph: Lucas Jackson/Reuters

Dear Reader,

We all take our health for granted. Aren't we always sure we are healthy? But then one day, we get a rude wake-up call and find that we can no longer do so.

Does your health bother you?

Do you want to strengthen your body or your immunity?

Do you have bad skin? Or hair issues?

Is your digestive system giving you trouble?

Or is belly fat your problem?

Mail your queries to wellness expert Roopashree Sharma at (SUBJECT: Roopashree, can you help?) for her advice.


Dear Roopashree,
My resolution is to prioritise my health in 2021 and boost my immune system. Other than keeping six feet apart, washing my hands, wearing a mask and avoiding junk food, what should I be focusing on?
Thank you,

Hi Karthik,

Wellness is a journey, not a destination. It’s a habit, a lifestyle.

While the past two years have taught us the importance of good health, it is equally important to understand holistic wellness.

Your wellness is not only about increasing immunity. In fact, very high immunity is also lethal; you can do some research on this.

I have written an article about starting your wellness journey earlier on You should find all your answers there. Do write back if you have any queries thereafter.


Dear Roopashree Ma’am,
My daughter is 12 years old and still sucks her thumb.
Her upper jaw has changed shape because of this and the skin on her thumb is ruined.
We have tried everything, including making her wear socks on her hands at night and bitter nail polish.
Nothing has worked.
If there is any way you can help us, we would be most grateful.
Please keep my name anonymous.

It’s a common practice amongst new-born babies and toddlers as it acts as a pacifier but, if not addressed, it can stay on until later ages and create multiple problems.

We tend to look at it as a physical problem; however, it’s more of a psychological one.

You should try and understand your child’s emotional triggers. When is she practising the habit? Is she anxious at that time or hungry? Try to address her mental issues.

Take her to the dentist and let the doctor explain to her the repercussions and dental issues down the road, etc.

Make it a conversation, not a complaint or a nagging session as that will further lower her confidence. Children tend to adversely react to constant reminders.

Make it fun, like a game or a challenge to control the habit. Reward good behaviour to encourage her.


Hello Roopashree,
I have a very sensitive nose and I am highly allergic to dust.
There is a lot of construction going on in our area so I am constantly sniffling and sneezing.
Can you please share natural tips to reduce allergy?
Thank you,

Any kind of allergies should be treated well and the root cause should be cured. I recommend you visit an Ayurvedic practitioner.

Meanwhile, add more of papaya, lime, oranges and pineapple to your diet; they are rich in vitamin C and will help with your allergies.

Have honey water (use mildly warm water), preferably in the morning.

To clear your sinuses, you can try the yoga practice of Jal Neti under guidance from a certified professional.

Also, breathing exercises such as Anulom Vilom work wonders for those with sinus issues.

Start with 5-10 minutes and go up to 45 minutes daily, in open spaces like a garden early in the morning.

If you spend a lot of time indoors in an AC environment, it is advisable to either use the AC with dehumidifiers or invest in an air purifier.

Using essential oils such as eucalyptus oil or mint oil can also be helpful.


Dear Roopashree,
The skin around my nails peels all the time and it is very painful. Plus it looks very ugly.
How do I solve this problem?

Any skin problem has a direct connect to hygiene, as the skin is simply trying to replace the layer that is adversely affected by any kind of chemicals (like the overuse of sanitisers), etc.

If you are in the culinary field, for example, it could be from exposure to a certain oil or spice or any specific ingredient.

Just keep your hands clean and visit a physician if the situation persists.

Apply coconut oil, as it is good for the skin.


Dear Roopashree,
I have itchy ears. By that, I mean the inside of my ears really itch.
I have got myself checked by an ear doctor and have a clean certificate.
But my ears really itch, especially in winter.
Is it okay to pour a few drops of oil inside my ears, as my mother used to do when I was a child? She used to clean a dry red chilli from the inside and pour warm oil through it into my ears.
It is the only thing I can remember that gives me relief.
Please advise.

There could be many reasons for itchiness in the ears, including dryness or blocked sinuses, especially given the winter season.

You should observe the weather, your diet and your schedule on the days you get severe itching.

Pouring oil in the ears is also a part of Ayurvedic Panchkarma therapy of Karna Purna. However, the choice of oil, quantity and temperature depends on the patient, the weather, etc.

You can visit a good Ayurveda practitioner. They will identify the root cause of itching and cure it by recommending the right course of action.

  • You can read Roopashree's columns here.

Roopashree Sharma, a qualified yoga trainer and naturopathy enthusiast, is the founder of Atharvanlife (external link)

You can send in your health queries to Roopashree Sharma at (SUBJECT: Roopashree, can you help?). Do remember to include your age, height, weight, where you stay, health issues and any other details that will help. If you wish to remain anonymous, please let us know.

Please note: This is an advisory. Please consult your doctor as well. In case of any discomfort, please stop the regime and visit your doctor.

Disclaimer: All content and media herein is written and published online for informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice. It should not be relied on as your only source for advice.

Please always seek the guidance of your doctor or a qualified health professional with any questions you may have regarding your health or a medical condition. Do not ever disregard the advice of a medical professional, or delay in seeking it because of something you have read herein.

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Opinions expressed herein cannot necessarily provide advice to fit the exact specifics of the issues of the person requesting advice.

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